By John Wagoner, Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas


Welcome to the Texas Star Party’s Binocular Observing Club. The purpose of this club is not to test your observing skills by throwing the toughest objects at you that are hard to see under any conditions, but to give you an opportunity to observe 25 showcase objects under the ideal conditions of these pristine West Texas skies, thus displaying them to their best advantage.

The rules are simple. Just observe any 25 objects listed below, and log those observations in the spaces provided. That’s it. Any size binoculars can be used.  All observations must be made at the Texas Star Party to qualify.  For a Southern Skies challenge, observe those objects marked with an “S”. For an easy list, observe those objects marked with an “E”. For a tougher list, observe those objects marked with an “H”. But remember, a total of 25 objects must be observed, and you can mix and match lists.

All objects are within range of small to medium sized binoculars, and are available for observation between 10:00PM and 4:00AM any time during the TSP. All objects are listed in Right Ascension order so that you can observe them before they set in the West, or as they rise in the East. Each person completing this list will receive an official Texas Star Party Binocular Observing Club lapel pin. These pins are not sold at the TSP and can only be acquired by completing the program, so wear them proudly. All objects were tested at Ft. Davis, and you should not have trouble with any of them.

To receive your pin, turn in you observations to John Wagoner – TSP Observing Chairman any time during the Texas Star Party. If you cannot find me on the field, I will be at the outside door leading into the TSP Meeting Hall each day between 1:00 PM and 2:30 PM. If you finish the list the last night of TSP, and I am not available to give you your pin, just mail your observations to me at 1409 Sequoia, Plano, TX 75023, and I will see that you get a pin.

We have two binocular programs on the TSP agenda. The first is a Challenge Program of 25 objects meant for 50MM or larger binoculars. The second is the Texas Star Party Binocular Program from Hell. This second program is a difficult program of 25 objects for 50MM and larger binoculars, and for the advanced binocular observer. The same rules as listed above apply to these two new programs. Both Programs will have their own lapel pins.

Now, let’s get out there and observe!!!

TSP Binocular Observing Program (Pick 25 objects)

TSP Challenge Binocular Program

TSP Binocular Program from “Hell”


Download this year’s observing list (Adobe Acrobat(PDF) version)

Check out our Observing Program archives for previous year lists!