Acquiring the Frosty Drew Observatory Life List
Frosty Drew Observatory has created a Life List of over two hundred prime celestial objects arranged by season. With the accompanying BLANK maps which you will fill in over time, it provides an easy way for everyone from grade schoolers to elders to become involved with the wonders of the night sky.
Download or print the Frosty Drew Observatory Life List.
The Life List is in PDF format. You will need a valid PDF reader to view this document. A free, lightweight PDF reader is available here: Foxit Reader
- More about the Life List
Bird watchers long ago developed the idea of Life Lists to record all their observations of various species. We are extending this idea to the skies above us. This is not a competition or a race. However, if you like, we will record your progress at Frosty Drew Observatory.
As with any such list, the greatest problem is not what to include but deciding what to exclude. We could easily justify a whole encyclopedia. Our initial Life List can only be a starting point. Your Life List will soon have many additional objects.
Some objects are near the North Pole are visible every clear night. Solar system objects move changing their positions over the span of a few weeks. Other objects have a best season for viewing in the earlier hours of the evening. Objects can be viewed before their season by waiting until later in the night. For example in Summer, the constellations in our Summer map are up in the early evening. If you wait to the middle of this same night the Fall stars will be overhead. Before dawn, the Winter stars begin to rise. To help you find these objects, we have color/symbol coded them.
Black/circle objects are circumpolar and always visible. Lavender/flower objects are best viewed in the Spring evenings. Green/sunny-face objects are best viewed in the Summer evenings. Brown/leaf objects are best viewed in the Fall evenings. Blue/snowflake objects are best viewed in the Winter evenings. Gray/spinner objects depend on their solar rotation.
There are more than 200 objects in our list. By the time you have checked off about half of them, the might sky will become your own personal domain forever. There are literally thousands of worthy objects to be viewed. We hope you will expand your life list far beyond these initial suggestions.
Astronomy is one of the few sciences where amateurs still make major contributions. Novae and comets are usually discovered by amateurs. If you are interested in making serious observations there are special amateur organizations who do important work that could not be done without their dedicated free labor.
If you find yourself drawn to astronomy in more than a passing way, consider joining us at Frosty Drew Observatory. We welcome astronomers at all levels who love sharing our skies with the general public. The very best way to build your life list into the thousands is to join with others who spend starry night after starry night learning from each other.