2012 AstronomyOutreach Awards Nominations Page

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To nominate someone for the next AstronomyOutreach Award, please see our AstronomyOutreach Award Nominations page.

The AstronomyOutreach Award (the "Astro Oscars") honors the very best in astronomy outreach and public education each year. Categories include Individual, Professional, Club or Society, and Special. The Annual AstronomyOutreach Awards are sponsored by Oceanside Photo & Telescope.

You can make a nomination for the 2012 AstronomyOutreach Awards until the end of November 2011. Nominees are voted on by the Awards Committee and will be announced at the 2012 Winter Star Party in the Florida Keys. Please edit this page and give the full name of the nominee, the category that you are nominating for, and a brief explanation of why you have nominated them.

2012 Nominees

  • Doug Berger; Category "Individual"; For initiating Astronomy Day in 1973.
  • Stephen Ramsden; category "Individual". Solar outreach leader, speaker, astro-imager and distant relative of the inventor of the Ramsden style eyepiece.

When not controlling the skies as an air traffic controller, Stephen Ramsden is known as “the hardest working man in astronomy outreach”. Stephen travels hundreds of miles each year in his highly customized SUN S.P.O.T (The SUN Specialized Public Outreach Truck). A tireless champion of hands-on observing and education, he is in constant motion showing the sun to over 50,000 people at 70 different events.

His non-profit organization “The Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project” takes observatory quality telescopes and cameras to regional schools, festivals and events in order to teach our community about the Sun and its many interesting features.

Stephen and his wife base their outreach activities in Atlanta Georgia.


  • The Northern Virginia Astronomy Club (NOVAC); Category “Club”.

NOVAC’s motto is “To observe and to help others observe”. As one of the largest astronomy clubs in the world, the club has a rich history of astronomy outreach from the local to international levels. The members conduct on-request and monthly public outreach sessions, regional Astronomy Day celebrations and host a national level star party (The Almost Heaven Star Party).

Several members participate in the Night Sky Network (NSN), the NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassadors Program and the public outreach efforts of the National Air and Space Museum’s monthly and annual programs. The club actively participates in hands-on (and online) amateur telescope making, robotic telescope and occultation projects.

NOVAC is also actively involved in educating the public on light pollution. Members are currently (and have served) on the boards of the International Dark Sky Association, The Astronomical League and the Virginia Outdoor Lighting Taskforce (VOLT). Members frequently attend DC area county council meetings to promote efficient forms of nighttime lighting.

NOVAC’s worldwide online resources include observing guides, equipment reviews, how-to articles and tips on everything from buying a telescope to staying warm in the dark.

From the Winter Star Party to the North East Astronomy Forum (NEAF) to remote gatherings around the country, the aim of NOVAC is to benefit everyone who wishes to learn more about astronomy.

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