Pro-Am Collaboration

Research isn’t just for the professionals. Amateur astronomers do cutting-edge science, too, sometimes partnering with professional astronomers in pro-am collaborations. Thanks to their ability to move and observe when and where they choose, amateurs are also often better at tracking asteroids or hunting for new supernovae than many pros. Amateurs are also branching into spectroscopy, splitting starlight into its constituent wavelengths to study the composition of stars and other celestial objects.

Here you’ll find information on all these projects and more. We’re always interested in hearing about new ways that amateurs are doing hardcore science, so if there’s something you do that isn’t listed here, let us know how you’re contributing to astronomy.

New Comet Machholz

California's comet-hunting veteran Don Machholz bagged his 11th discovery on March 23 and 26, 2010. It's a faint diffuse comet, low in the morning sky.

Possible Fireball Outburst Sept 9-10

An unexpected meteor burst was detected on the night of September 8-9. Bill Cooke of the Marshall Space Flight Center is urging meteor watchers to see if the activity continues on the night of September 9-10.

S&T’s Star-count Challenge!

How bad is the light pollution where you live? How many stars can you see on a dark night? Last year the GLOBE at Night project tallied 8,500 star-counting estimates from around the world. That's great — but we can do better! All it'll take is 30 minutes and a clear evening between now and…