Astronomy is rife with lists. Every new survey of objects in the sky generates a list, from Messier's list, to the Hubble Guide Star Catalog, to the Hipparcos astrometric survey. Some lists are too daunting for the average amateur astronomer to even consider (it takes a Steve Gottlieb to try to tackle the entire New General Catalog!).
Messier's list of non-comets is an excellent introduction to deep sky observing for every astronomer, but it highlights only one aspect of the interesting observing to be done in the night sky.
The new AANC Century Award list is not intended to be the capstone of an astronomy career, but an excellent introduction to a variety of observing experiences. It should provide a newcomer with a powerful repertoire of showpieces, while perhaps introducing the intermediate observer to some objects he may not have tried before.
Here are my guidelines for choosing objects in the AANC Century Award:
To receive the award, an astronomer must submit an observing log listing date, time, and location for each observation, along with a nominal fee. The numbered award will include a numbered certificate suitable for framing and a jacket patch for wearing on your favorite "flight suit." Recipients will be listed with their award number on an AANC Century Award web page.
Currently there are about 110 objects on the proposed list. I would like to finalize the list by December 1. Please email me with suggestions to add or subtract from the list.
It is my intention to augment the publication of the list with the following: