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"To bring together those who appreciate the night sky!"
The TriState Astronomers is a group of amateur astronomers from the area surrounding Hagerstown, MD.
We began in 1985 and we enjoy sharing the ageless wonders of the night sky.
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Messier Club

Visually observe 70 Messier objects and keep a record of your observations. Your notes must include:
a. Date of observation;
b. Time of observation;
c. Seeing conditions;
d. Aperture size of telescope;
e. Power used;
f. A short description of the Messier object.

When we last performed this exercise some years ago, the club included all the objects in the Messier list toward certification.  Although the League does not require that now, it still is a good idea, so I encourage you to continue seeking more of the objects as you get past the 70 required for certification. 

Note "F" above.  Tell in your own words how the object appears to you in your own or a friend/partner's telescope, not just by cutting and pasting a description of the object from a book or web page. 

Keeping records including all the annotations in the notes as listed above, will help you to become a better observer, because you will then be able to relate each of them to what you actually observed, and be able to draw on that information when you wish to observe those or similar objects in the future.

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