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The Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers Solar System Astronomy At Its Finest Imagine… An astronomical organization dedicated to lunar and planetary astronomy that.... Facilitates an exchange of information and observing data.

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the association of lunar and planetary observers

The Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers

Solar System Astronomy At Its Finest


An astronomical organization dedicated to lunar and planetary astronomy that....

  • Facilitates an exchange of information and observing data.
  • Provides a forum for the discussing ideas and observing techniques.
  • Helps individual observers develop observing and reporting skills and relevant training.
  • Encourages and coordinates regular and systematic investigations of our solar system with the equipment and methods normally available to amateur astronomers.
  • Analyzes such data and publishes results in a Journal and elsewhere.
  • Encourages cooperation between amateur and professional astronomers.
  • Provides a repository for the history of Solar System observations.
such an organization exist it is the association of lunar and planetary observers a l p o

Such an organization exist !...It is the...Association of Lunar and Planetary ObserversA.L.P.O.

what is the a l p o
What is the A.L.P.O.?
  • An international group of individuals that study the sun, moon, planets, asteroids, meteors, and comets and other topics of study that relate to Solar System astronomy.
our goals are to
Our goals are to:
  • stimulate, coordinate, and generally promote the study of these bodies
  • using methods and instruments that are available within the communities of both amateur and professional astronomers.
we welcome and provide services for all individuals interested in lunar and planetary astronomy
We welcome and provide services for all individuals interested in lunar and planetary astronomy.
  • For the novice observer, the A.L.P.O. is a place to learn and to enhance observational techniques.
  • For the advanced amateur astronomer, it is a place where one's work will count through participation in observing programs.
  • For the professional astronomer, it is a resource where group studies or systematic observing patrols add to the advancement of astronomy.
through this presentation we hope to convey to you that the a l p o is a dynamic organization
Through this presentation, we hope to convey to you that the A.L.P.O. is a dynamic organization:
  • pursuing Solar System astronomy at many different levels, and areas of expertise,
  • has something for every astronomer: from casual arm chair – to advance amateur - to professional,
  • and is worthy of your consideration in becoming a member.
organizational structure
We have two different types of programs/sections.

- Observational

- Non-observational, special interest programs/sections

  • The A.L.P.O. has a kaleidoscope of different programs related to Solar System astronomy managed by up to 20 separate sections.
observational sections
Observational Sections
  • Solar
  • Mercury
  • Venus
  • Mars
  • Jupiter
  • Saturn

Sun, James Kevin Ty, Mercury – Tim Wilson, Venus - Don Parker, Mars – Tan Wei Leong, Jupiter – P. Clay Sherod, Saturn - Unknown

observational sections12
Observational Sections


Selected Areas

Lunar Transient Phenomena

Lunar Meteoritic Impacts Search

Topographic Studies

Lunar Domes

January 2000 Lunar Eclipse from Rik Hill

other important observational sections
Other Important Observational Sections
  • Remote Planets
  • Minor Planets
  • Comets
  • Meteors
  • Eclipses
  • Mercury/Venus Transits
  • Training Program

- introductory

- advanced

section coordinators
Section Coordinators
  • Collect and study submitted observations
  • Correspond with observers
  • Encourage beginners, and
  • Contribute reports to our Journal at appropriate intervals.
non observational sections

- observing aids

- ephemerides

- data reduction


- A.L.P.O.

- L & P


- for the “rock hounds”

- finds

Non-observational Sections
non observational sections16
Non-observational Sections
  • Publications&

- The Journal, The Strolling Astronomer

- Other Publications, Monographs, etc.

  • YouthJ

- producing materials

- work with others entities

  • Programs
  • Literature

- guides

- introductory materials

- standardized observing methods

- observing forms

  • Literature

- advanced handbooks

- more detailed information about the subject

- instruct on more

in-depth studies

  • Literature

- newsletters

- offers late breaking news

- instructs in latest

observing techniques

  • Correspondence

- SASE Please!


A.L.P.O. Yahoo Groups

  • Several A.L.P.O. sections also have email discussions through Yahoo Groups.
  • Section coordinators moderate these discussion groups and should be contacted if interested in participation.
media outlets the journal of the a l p o the strolling astronomer
MEDIA OUTLETSThe Journal of the A.L.P.O.(The Strolling Astronomer)
  • Quarterly
  • Apparition Reports

- planets

- events, close passages, and

other ongoing studies

- information and recognition

journal a l p o
Journal A.L.P.O.
  • Features

- observing techniques

- advice on using


- commentary

- previews of



journal a l p o23
Journal A.L.P.O.
  • News Notes

- updates on section news

- other happening in L & P


  • Digital format as well as hard copy!
  • Journal’s Membership Discussion Group
the a l p o web site
The A.L.P.O. Web Site
  • All sections and programs are represented
  • Section and program literature is available
  • Updates, observing alerts
  • Recent observations...YOUR observations
  • Some newsletters are published on the web
  • E-mail alerts
  • Conventions

- paper sessions

- exhibits

- accessibility

  • Conferences & Star Parties
  • Lunar and planetary astronomy
observing interest programs
Observing/Interest Programs
  • Leadership through coordinating personnel
  • Direction in observing
  • Literature to guide
  • Personal feedback
  • Information that thoroughly informs

Comet Machholz by Christian Fattinnanzi

principle outlets are
Principle Outlets Are…
  • The Journal A.L.P.O.
  • The A.L.P.O. Web Site
  • Conferences and other gatherings
the a l p o has increased understanding of the solar system by
The A.L.P.O. Has Increased Understanding of the Solar System by…
  • Providing observational data to the professional community
  • Pursuing areas of study that have occasionally achieved startling results

What follows are examples of these two points

pro am cooperation mercury section
  • Possible transient phenomena observed
  • Imaging needed
  • Photometry and visual drawings as well

Graphic from the Lunar and Planetary Lab,

University of Arizona

pro am cooperation mars section

Professionals have studied A.L.P.O. Mars observations

  • Drawings to CCD Images
  • Need for data to study:

- Martian meteorology

- Seasonal changes with features

- Transient features...dust storms, flashes

- Long term, secular changes

pro am cooperation mars section32
  • Mars Sec. Coordinators have participated in professional workshops
  • Mars Sec. Coordinators have published in

- Icarus

- Journal of Geophysical Research

- Data used in many others

the pro am rationale
The Pro-Am Rationale
  • Telescope time
  • More interested amateurs than professionals
  • Networked, world-wide
  • Much higher quantity of observations
  • Amateurs have the data the pros don’t have!
pro am cooperation saturn
  • Intermittent White Spot activity in the EZ
  • Observing programs for Cassini space probe
  • Titan - multi-color photometry & colorimetry

- LPL, U of A

- To confirm a rotational light curve

variation of 7% at 940nm, (first

noted from 1990-1993)

Image by Ed Grafton

other pro am collaborations
Other Pro-Am Collaborations

Minor Planets Section

  • MAP Program

- magnitude errors

- light curves

- visual to photometry

other pro am collaborations36
Other Pro-Am Collaborations

Lunar Transient Phenomena (LTP)

  • NASA involvement
  • Clementine
  • Lunar Polar Orbiter

And many more observing programs too numerous to mention!

Crater Schickard imaged by Carmelo Zannelli


Lunar Meteoritic Impact Search Program (LMISP)

  • Flashes on the Moon

during meteor showers

  • Recorded on Videocams
  • Confirmed by indep. obs.

in diverse geographic


Graphic from Brian Cudnik and the Journal A.L.P.O


Pre-Voyager observations of Saturn

  • Sub divisions of the rings other than Cassini’s & Encke’s divisions
  • The very tenuous E ring external to the A Ring
  • The dusky radial “spokes”

Voyager I image of Saturn’s rings from NASA

  • Martian dust storm alerts
  • Many dust storms initially observed by the A.L.P.O. Mars Section observers
  • Reported to the professional community

Martian Flashes

  • A phenomena of “bright flashes” from the Edom region of Mars observed in the past
  • Flashes predicted for specific dates in June 2001....under similar circumstances of past observations
  • Videography captured the flashes at the predicted time
  • They were also observed visually in other telescopes

(From the June 7, 2001 videotape by David Moore)

a l p o
A. L. P. O.

So, in addition to the A.L.P.O. being a organization that services its members....

....the A.L.P.O. has also contributed to the advancement of Solar System astronomy!

a l p o43
A. L. P. O.

Boy, I’m all excited about this A.L.P.O. thing!

How do I join the A.L.P.O.?

a l p o membership

Membership Rates

Digital Journal - 4 issues @ $12.00

Digital Journal - 8 issues @ $20.00

Paper Journal - 4 issues @ $30.00

Paper Journal - 8 issues @ $54.00

Consult the Journal or A.L.P.O. web site for international rates

Membership forms are available from the presenter or on the A.L.P.O web site


The A.L.P.O. is a vibrant astronomical organization.

  • Conducting studies of Solar System phenomena
  • Providing assistance to amateur observers making observations in such studies
  • Publishing results in our Journal and other publications and media
  • Sharing observations and results with the professional community

The A.L.P.O. will continue to contribute to the advancement of lunar and planetary astronomy.

Whether you want to participate our observing programs or merely subscribe to our literature, please join us in the “great astronomical adventure”.