Virtual TSP Observing Programs

Join us and record your observations during the dates specified… Observe the objects on one or more of our lists:

  • Novice Observer Club (PDF)     Novice Observer Club (Windows DOCX)   (for first-time non-observers)
    • If you have never done any observing, do not own a telescope or binoculars, were dragged to star parties, astronomy club events, camping trip, an in town sidewalk viewing event because your spouse, significant other or parents “said it will be fun” and have never shown any interest in astronomy, this program is for you. It will give you just a taste of what they do when they spend all those nights outside looking at the sky. Just give it a try. It’s easy, and you’ll get a pin for finding just 10 of the naked eye objects on the list. All these objects can be seen by midnight. You might actually find it interesting and decide to try the binocular observing list.
    • Must observe objects between Twilight June 5th to Dawn June 13th, 2021.
    • Find 10 of the 14 objects on this list!
    • Completed lists, when approved will receive a VTSP Novice Observing Certifcate!
  • Binocular Programs (PDF)     Binocular Programs (Windows DOCX)
    • The purpose of this club is not to test your observing skills by throwing the toughest objects at your that are hard to see under any conditions, but to give you an opportunity to observe 25 showcase objects under what would normally be the ideal conditions of these pristine West Texas Skies.  But since we can’t be at Prude Ranch this year because of the Pandemic, you will have to accept the challenge of observing in less that ideal conditions.
    • Three lists to choose from!  You can do one or more:
      • Must observe objects between Twilight June 5th to Dawn June 13th, 2021.
      • Observe 25 of 50 objects on the Regular list (Small To Medium Sized Binoculars)
      • Observe 25 of 25 objects on the Challenge list (50mm or Larger Binoculars)
      • Observe 25 of 25 objects on the Binocular Program from Hell list (50mm or Larger Binoculars)
    • Completed lists, when approved will receive a VTSP Binocular Observing Certifcate!
  • Regular Telescope Program (PDF)       Regular Telescope Program (Windows DOCX)
    • This observing challenge is a salute to John Wagoner.
      John has managed the general observing challenge list from many decades.
      Objects are chosen from various lists of John’s to honor him and his commitment to Texas Star Party and amateur astronomers, young and old. He has been a friend and mentor to many amateur astronomers, novice as well as advanced.
    • Must observe objects between end of Twilight June 5th and ending Midnight the night of June 13th, 2021.
    • Find 20 objects, selecting from the two lists provided.
    • Completed lists, when approved will receive a VTSP Telescope Observing Challenge Certifcate!
  • Advanced Observing Program (PDF)      Advanced Observing Program (Windows DOCX)
    • This year highlighted are 40 of some of the brighter and more interesting objects that have been listed over the previous years. This is – by far – the EASIEST Advanced TSP list ever published, and will provide some “eye-candy” as a reward for those of you who may have experienced “retinal torture” in the past. With just a little extra effort and a good sky, an advanced observer may be able to visually see ALL of the objects using only a modest aperture telescope. In planning your observations, pay attention to both the listed magnitudes and the object size, which will give an indication of the surface brightness of each object.
    • Must observe objects between End of Twilight June 5 – Dawn June 13, 2021
    • Observe 20 of the 40 objects on this list!
    • Completed lists, when approved will receive an Advanced Observer Certifcate!
    • The first 95 that we approve will ALSO receive our 20 year Advanced Observers pin!

Check out our Observing Program archives for previous year lists!