Milwaukee Astronomical Society


Award Winning Astronomy

We do serious astronomy! The Milwaukee Astronomical Society can boast of more award winning members than probably any club in the country.  And some of these awards are among the most prestigious. 

Leslie C. Peltier Award

Awarded by the Astronomical League, the Peltier Award is presented to an amateur astronomer who contributed to astronomical observations of lasting significance.

1981 - Edward Halbach
1984 - Walter Scott Houston *
1999 - William Albrecht
2001 - Richard Berry *
2002 - Gene Hanson
2008 - Richard Hodgson **
2009 - Gerry Samolyk

Astronomical League Award

Presented to an amateur or professional who has made worthwhile contributions to the science of astronomy on a national or international level.

1972 - Edward Halbach
1974 - Walter Scott Houston *
2002 - Richard Berry *

Directors Award

The Director's Award is awarded by the AAVSO at the Director's discretion to an outstanding observer who contributes to special observing projects.

1998 - Gene Hanson
2002 - William Albrecht

Merit Award

The AAVSO Merit Award is presented to any member who, by majority vote of the AAVSO Council, is deemed to have made an outstanding contribution as an observer, or as a long-standing benefactor. projects.

1965 - Ralph Buckstaff
1988 - Edward Halbach
2007 - Gerry Samolyk

Olcott Award

The William Tyler Olcott Distinguished Service Award is presented to a member of the AAVSO organization for outstanding contributions in mentoring/promoting variable star astronomy.

2003 - Edward Halbach

Amateur Achievement Award

The Astronomical Society of the Pacific recognizes significant observational or technological contributions to astronomy or amateur astronomy by an individual not employed in the field of astronomy in a professional capacity.

1997 - Edward Halbach

Klumpke-Roberts Award

The Astronomical Society of the Pacific award that recognizes outstanding contributions to the public understanding and appreciation of astronomy.

1991 - Richard Berry

Astronomical League Webmaster Award

The Astronomical League recognizes outstanding astronomy club websites.

2016 - Gene Hanson

Observer's Award

The AAVSO recognizes observers who have contributed a significant number of variable star estimates.

Gerry Samolyk - 200,000 CCD, 100,000 Visual
Bill Albrecht - 100,000 Visual
Ed Halbach - 100,000 Visual
Gene Hanson - 50,000 Visual
Jerry Bialozynski - 25,000 CCD
Walter Scott Houston * - 10,000 Visual
Ralph Buckstaff - 10,000 Visual
David Weier - 10,000 Visual
Chris Hesseltine - 10,000 CCD
Neil Simmons - 10,000 CCD
Rudy Poklar - 10,000 CCD
Henry Gerner - 1,000 CCD

Other MAS members who have contributed to the AAVSO database.

Luverne Armfield
Gary Wedemayer
Lee Keith
Duane Ruokonen
Richard Hodgson
Raymond Zit
Bob James
Bob Manske
Paul Murn
Art Peck
A R Ball
Thomas Renner
Virgil Tangney
John Pfannerstill
John Asztalos
James Toeller
Scott Jamieson
Joseph Loepfe
Cornelius Prinslow
Tom Osypowski

*  These individuals were former MAS members.
**  Became a member after winning the award.

Ed Halbach receives the Olcott Award - 2003Ed Halbach
Ed receives the Olcott Award at the 2003 Spring meeting of the AAVSO in Tucson.
Photo: Gene Hanson

Ed Halbach's Olcott Award Ed Halbach's Olcott Award  

Gene Hanson receives the Peliter AwardGene Hanson

Gene receiving the Peltier Award at the 2002 AL conference in Salt Lake City.

Gerry Samolyk's Peliter AwardGerry Samolyk's Peliter Award.

Gerry Samolyk receives the Peltier Award presented by Roger KolmanGerry Samolyk

Gerry receiving the Peltier Award at the observatory presented by Roger Kolman of the AL. 2009.

Gerry Samolyk receives the Peltier AwardGerry Samolyk

Gerry receives the Peltier Award at the observatory. 2009.

Ed Halbach receives 100,000 awardEd Halbach
Ed receives his award for 100,000 visual estimates of variable stars. Gerry Samolyk at the left and Virgil Tangney at the right.

Gerry Samolyk receives 100,000 Visual Estimate AwardGerry Samolyk

Gerry receives his award for 100,000 variable star estimates in 2003.
Photo by Gene Hanson

Bill Albrecht receives AAVSO Director's AwardBill Albrecht
Bill receiving the AAVSO Director's Award at the 2002 Spring Meeting in Hawaii.

Gene Hanson receives 1998 Director's AwardGene Hanson
Gene receives the AAVSO Director's Award at the 1998 Spring Meeting in Boulder, CO.
Photo from the AAVSO - by permission.

Gene Hanson receives award for 50,000 Visual Estimates.Gene Hanson

Gene receives his award for 50,000 variable star estimates in 2001.

Gerry Samolyk 5,000 CCD observations.Gerry Samolyk

Gerry receives his award for 5,000 CCD observations of variable stars in 2001.

Gerry Samolyk Receives the AAVSO Merit AwardGerry Samolyk

Gerry receives his AAVSO Merit Award in 2007. 

Chris Hessletiime 1000 CCD observationsChris Hesseltine

Chris receives his award for 1,000 CCD  observations of variable stars in 2001.

Gerry Samolyk Receives the AAVSO Merit AwardDick Hodgson
Dick Hodgson receives his Peltier Award at the 2008 joint ALCon / ALPO meeting  held in Des Moines, IA.

Chris Hessletiime 1000 CCD observationsDick Hodgson & Walter Haas

Dick Hodgson with Walter Hass of the ALPO during the 2008 ALCon / ALPO meeting. 

Gene Hanson rReceives the Astronomical League Webmaster AwardGene Hanson

Gene Hanson with his 2016 Astronomical League Webmaster Award for his work on this site.

Gene Hanson's Astronomical League Webmaster AwardGene Hanson's Webmaster Plaque