The AVAC is a member of the Astronomical League. The Leagues basic goal is to encourage an interest in astronomy (and especially amateur astronomy) throughout America. Many people have seen pictures of the other planets in our Solar System from spacecraft, but have no idea that they too can see these objects with a telescope. They want people to get access to telescopes, whether it is through their local astronomical society, school, or their own instruments, and use them to view the beauty in the heavens.
To encourage amateur astronomers to learn and study the night sky, the league has developed 28 observing clubs, which are listed below. Each club offers a certificate based upon achieving certain observing goals and a beautiful award pin. These are usually in the form of a specific number of objects of a specific group with a given type of instrument. Occasionally there are multiple levels of accomplishment within the. There is no time limit for completing the required observing, but good record keeping is required. For the clubs listed below that are shaded, it is valid to use computerized GOTO systems or digital setting circles. Although you CAN use a GOTO system on these programs, it is highly recommended that manual methods be used. For any program not shaded, you must use manual methods to complete the program.
The North Houston Astronomy publishes a monthly newsletter, "What's Up, Doc?", that lists what objects are in the evening sky, organized by Astronomical League. They also have an Excel spread sheet, "What's Up Tonight, Doc?". The user enters their latitude, longitude, and the Universal Time of their observing and the spreadsheet will provide various listings of objects in the sky at that time, ordered by descending altitude. It currently has 2187 objects, covering all 28 of the Astronomical League clubs.