The Astronomical League's Leslie C. Peltier Award

Harlow Shapley once referred to Leslie C. Peltier as "the world's greatest living amateur astronomer." This was a view shared by all who knew him, or knew of him. During his active observing life, which spanned all, or parts of eight decades, he made over 132,000 observations of variable stars, discovered twelve comets and six novae.

He was author of three books: Starlight Nights (for which he was named Ohio Author of the Year in 1966), Guideposts to the Stars, and The Place on Jennings Creek. Many prominent astronomers today, such as David Levy, were greatly influenced and inspired by his work.


When Leslie Peltier died in 1980, it was felt that the Astronomical League should prepare a lasting tribute to this man who represented the best that our common avocation has to offer. A stranding resolution was passed at the 1980 League Convention in Dallas, Texas establishing the Leslie C. Peltier Award for significant contributions to observational astronomy. The award became a reality when Mr. John Diebel, president of Meade Instruments, agreed to sponsor it. The award consists of a 12" X 9" goldtone cast plate on a 15" X 12" walnut backing. It is a magnificent object to behold. Since 1980, there have been thirty recipients of the award. Names in blue or bold type are AAVSO members.

Year Winner Contribution
2017 Rodney H. Howe Solar astronomy
2016 Mike Reynolds Popularization of astronomy and space sciences
2015 Arlo U. Landolt Development of photometric stellar standards
2014 James H. Fox Occultations, Planets, Variable Stars, PEP
2013 John E. Bortle Comets, Variable Stars, development of Observing Aids
2012 Michael A. Simonsen Variable Stars
2011 Arne A. Henden Variable Stars
2010 Derald D. Nye Solar, Minor Planet, General Astronomy
2009 Gerry Samolyk Variable Stars
2008 Richard G. Hodgson A.L.P.O. - Minor Planet Section
2007 Daniel M. Troiani A.L.P.O. - Mars Section
2006 Elizabeth O. Waagen Variable Stars
2005 Ed Grafton CCD Planetary Astronomy
2004 Wayne P. Johnson Extra Galactic Supernovae
2003 Paul Comba Minor Planets
2002 Gene A. Hanson Variable Stars
2001 Richard Berry CCD & Telescopic Development
2000 Charles E. Scovil Variable Star Astronomy, chart preparation
1999 William B. Albrecht Variable Star Astronomy
1998 Roger Sinnott General astronomy. Atlas preparation.
1997 Dennis di Cicco Minor planets, lunar & planetary astronomy, general observational astronomy
1996 Edward G. Oravec Variable star astronomy
1995 Ron Parmentier General observational astronomy
1994 No award given
1993 Janet A. Mattei Variable star astronomy
1992 Don Parker CCD astronomy, lunar & planetary astronomy
1991 Thomas A. Cragg Variable Stars, lunar and planetary astronomy
1990 No award given
1989 Peter L. Collins Nova discovery
1988 David H. Levy Variable stars, comet discoveries, general observational astronomy
1987 No Award Given
1986 Russell M. Genet Developments in photoelectric photometry
1985 Rev. Robert O. Evans Supernova discoveries
1984 Walter Scott Houston Variable stars, "Deep Sky Wonders"
1983 Clinton B. Ford Variable stars, chart development
1982 Walter H. Haas Lunar and planetary astronomy
1981 Edward A. Halbach Variable stars, lunar occultations, artificial satellite programs
1980 Leslie C. Peltier Variable stars, comet & nova discoveries, general observational astronomy.

Bolded names indicate AAVSO member/observer

The Peltier Award Committee consists of three members; Dr. Roger Kolman (Chairman), Barry Beaman, and Russ Maxwell. Nominations and supporting evidence may be sent to the chairman for consideration. His address is:

Dr. Roger Kolman
279 South Milton Avenue
Glen Ellyn, IL 60138

They must be received by no later than April 1 for eligibility for that year. The award is presented at the National Convention of the Astronomical League.