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Astronomy Day

Astronomy Day

Astronomy Day Headquarters: Astronomy Day Logo
Gary Tomlinson
Astronomy Day Headquarters
30 Stargazer Lane
Comstock Park MI 49321
(616) 784-9518


The Astronomy Day award began in 1980 and is award to the group that best exemplifies the concept of Astronomy Day, "Bringing Astronomy to the People," through its special event program.  The award is judged by the Astronomical League.  For a list of past winners, go to 

The rules are simple.  They are: 

  1. All entries must be postmarked by June 13 of each year and received by June 19th (if via postal mail) or received electronically by June 13th.
  1. One primary prizewinner will be chosen.
  1. Secondary awards may be given as follows:
  1. Honorable Mention(s) may be awarded to those groups in final contention for the award.
  1. Not all awards may be presented each year.
  1. All entries will be judged on the following:
  1. Eligibility is open to any nonprofit organization which promotes astronomy or space science. Planetariums and science museums, astronomy clubs, universities, and observatories or combinations thereof are all eligible. Organizations may not enter as part of a larger group and individually.
  1. If submitting an electronic entry, ALWAYS check the Astronomical League's web site for the correct e-mail address  Electronic entries must be formatted in the same order as the entry form.  Attachments must be able to be opened by MS Word and/or MS Photo Editor
  1. All entries become property of the Astronomical League.  Submitting photographs constitutes permission to publish and must comply with the guidelines under "Helpful Hints."

The winners will be notified by July 31, and awarded at the Astronomical League's summer convention.  The primary award winner will receive a plaque plus a $250 gift certificate from Sky & Telescope, good toward magazine subscriptions or the purchase of books, slides, videos, or other products from S&T's parent company, Sky Publishing Corp.  Secondary Award and Honorable Mention winners will receive a certificate.


Helpful hints for entering the award 

  1. Involving all astronomy-related groups in the area is viewed as very positive as well as promoting any special theme for the year (There won't always be a special theme).
  1. Previous primary award winners must be extraordinary to win the same award again in subsequent years.  However wining one award doesn't preclude an organization from winning a different award in the same or a different year.
  1. Compose your photographs.  Look through back issues of Sk & Telescope to judge what kind of photo they will publish.  There is nothing wrong with posing a picture.  Include a labeled hard copy (2 inches or larger) of any mailed digital image(s) and label all media with name of entrant.  Also each photograph must be labeled with where, when, who took and who is in the photograph.
  1. Edit video tapes.  Label the length of the video pertaining to Astronomy Day (especially if there is other non-related video on the tape).  Also if the Astronomy Day portion is not at the beginning of the tape, indicate how far into the tape the Astronomy Day portion starts.  VHS only.  DVD's (DVD Video format only) are also acceptable.
  1. You will receive an acknowledgement of your entry (either by postal mail or e-mail).  If you do not receive an acknowledgement, contact the Astronomy Day Coordinator.
  1. You do not have to use this entry form, but you must format and order your entry the same, i.e. your entry does not have to fit into the space provided but you must use the headings in the entry form (many entrants use a word processor to enter-which is quite acceptable) and all questions must be answered.  You may include additional information at the end of you entry if it does not fit within one of the categories.  This could include a summary.  For electronic entries, scan (if necessary) and attach the required flyers to your entry.
  1. Hosting the event on a different day than the "official" date will not preclude you from winning.
  1. The contest will be judged by the Astronomical League and not Sky & Telescope (i.e. you can mention Astronomy magazine).
  1. A co-sponsor is an organization that helped in set up and planning.  A participant is an organization who used space at your Astronomy Day event to promote themselves.
  1. Postal mailing from outside the USA may take several days to arrive.

Good luck!  If you don't win this year, please try again next year.


Entry Form:  Sky & Telescope Astronomy Day Award (for 2006 & later) 

Before filling in this form, ALWAYS check

for the latest entry form 

Date of Entry:     

Organization(s), institution(s), club(s), etc. entering the award: 

Contact person: 


City     State/Prov  Zip/Postal Code 

Country    Telephone:  

Fax:     E-mail: 

Web site: 

Preliminary Information

(will not affect the judging of the award.  We are just curious) 

Did you list your event(s) on the Astronomy Day web site?  YES  NO 

If you held your event on a day other than the "official" date of Astronomy Day, why? 

Suggestions on how the Astronomy Day Headquarters can assist you in Astronomy Day events: 

What was the weather like during you Astronomy Day events (e.g. rainy, completely cloudy, very clear, etc.) 

Did you use the Free posters from Sky Publishing?  YES  NO 

Is any sponsoring organization a member of the Astronomical League (does not affect the judging of the award)?  Which one(s)? 


Background Information 

Population of metropolitan area?  

Have you won any Astronomy Day Awards (including Honorable Mentions, Best for Size, Best New Idea, and Quality Events Year After Year) in previous years?  If so list award(s) and year(s). 

How many annual Astronomy Days have you sponsored? (i.e. this is our 4th year)? 

When did planning for this event start?  

What was your approximate budget (USD) for this event? 

Were any fees charges for any events?  If so, which one and how much (USD)? 

List any other local organizations/institutions involved (e.g. the local planetarium, the local telescope store, none, etc.): 

List any other local astronomical organizations/institution NOT involved (e.g. the local planetarium choose not to participate, the other local astronomy club wanted to do their own event, none, etc.): 
Event Details 

Please describe the programs run by your organization during Astronomy Day and explain their purposes. Your entry will be judged by the responses you provide as well as included samples or photographs. 

  1. List all planned events and type of location your group hosted for Astronomy Day including the dates and times they occurred (see example). Describe any unconventional events, exhibits, displays, and other activities.  Include any flyers or brochures produced for this event.
Date Hours Event Type of Location Attendance
4/16 9 am-9pm Mall Display Indoor shopping mall About 250
4/16 9 am-9 pm Solar, Lunar & Saturn telescopic viewing Outside indoor shopping mall About 42
4/16 7 pm-10 pm Telescopic viewing City Park Rained out
4/16 Noon- 5pm Planetarium shows Museum 184
Date Hours Event Type of Location Attendance
  1. Promotional and media coverage: List promotion obtained in the media. Include clippings, photos, even videotapes of news coverage. How long did your promotion run?  Any feature (i.e. non PSA) stories (list individually)?  Include copies of nay press releases.


  1. Effectiveness: How effective was your program in generating new interest in astronomy? How would you improve your Astronomy Day next year?
  1. Your organization: Number of members in each group that sponsored your Astronomy Day (i.e. astronomy club, planetarium staff, etc.)?  List separately. How many members from each group assisted in the Astronomy Day program?
  1. Personal statement:  Why should your group win the award?

Please remember to include examples of your activities. All entry material becomes property of the Astronomical League and the League and Sky & Telescope regrets that it cannot return these materials. Submission of information/photographs constitutes permission to publish.  Please send entry to (by June 13th): 

Astronomical League National Headquarters
9201 Ward Parkway; Suite 100
Kansas City, MO  64114


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