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Are you a beginning observer who is unsure of where to aim your telescope? Have you located a few of the brighter deep sky objects, but are not sure where to go from there? Tired of spending good clear nights wandering aimlessly among the stars? 


The EVAC Observing Programs offer a great way to sharpen your observing skills while learning more about the night sky. The process also provides structure and challenge in your observing sessions.

Program Details

By successfully completing any of these programs, club members will earn a plaque from EVAC. Some programs may also meet the requirements for Astronomical League certification. The East Valley Astronomy Club invites all interested amateurs to participate in these observing programs, however formal recognition is only available to club members.

Whatever your level of observing expertise, EVAC has a program to suit you. Everyone benefits from participation in an organized observing program!

Getting Started

Getting started on any of the EVAC Observing Programs is as easy as 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... 4...

  1. Select the program in which you would like to participate, click on the link and print out the information.

  2. Observe all objects on the list either visually or with a CCD camera or any combination of the two, or both. If the observations are done visually, record your impressions in a journal. Include as much detail as possible. Click here to get the generic EVAC Observation Log form. Specific log forms are available within each observing program below.

  3. When you have finished the list, submit the completed observing log (or a copy thereof) to the EVAC Observing Programs Coordinator. If your observations are done with a CCD camera, please submit your images in addition to the EVAC observing log.

  4. After verification, you will receive a small plaque suitable for mounting on your telescope.

Messier Program

New to deep sky observing? This program contains 110 of the brightest and the best objects in the sky.

EVAC 200 Program

Follow-up to the Messier program - more challenging in  the number of objects and difficulty of the objects.

Binocular Messier Program

A wonderful way to observe the Messier objects in their proper context in the night sky.

Lunar Program

Well suited for both the beginner and the accomplished observer.

NGC Finest Program

Challenging list of 110 objects not included in the Messier catalog.

Herschel 400 Program

An advanced program for the more experienced visual observer.

Herschel II Program

Another advanced program for the more experienced visual observer.

Double Star Program

Aims to introduce observers to 100 of the finest double and multiple stars in the sky.

Arp Galaxy Program

Includes a list of 72 galaxies from the Arp Catalog of Peculiar Galaxies.

Edge-On Galaxy Program

Contains a list of 47 galaxies viewed from the side.

Abell Galaxy Clusters Program

Contains a list of 33 of the nearest bright Abell clusters.

Globular Cluster Program

Focuses on the large groupings of old stars.

Planetary Nebulae Program

Concentrates on 30 of these objects; the expanding gas shells of dying stars.

Open Cluster Program

Contains a list of 98 of these loose aggregations of young stars.

Galaxies Program

Logs 113 galaxies.

Palomar Globular Cluster

A challenging program for owners of large telescopes.

Barnard Dark Nebulae Program

A subset of the entire Barnard catalog, containing 132 entries.

Hickson 100 Program

Contains a list of 100 galaxy groups, with each entry containing a minimum of four members.

Berkeley Open Cluster Program

A challenging list of 88 open clusters.

Andromeda Globular Cluster Program

An advanced program, concentrating on 25 globular clusters within the Andromeda Galaxy.

Lunar 100 Program

A challenging program prepared by Charles Wood.

Quasars Program

Contains a list of 48 of the brightest quasars.

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