The Astronomy meta question Should we have an observation-campaign tag and what is good usage advice for it? lists about 13 example questions where the tag might apply. There are several answers that evoke the term here as well, but tags go on questions (primarily).

In it I wrote:

My understanding is that it is anything between a rally for amateur observers to try to photograph something to a highly coordinated and preplanned observing plan for ground and space observatories and facilities, but that's just my impression.

A "star party" is not an observational campaign because the primary goals are outreach, fun, and general Astronomy education. A campaign would be a targeted and to some extent coordinated effort, at least to the extent that it was announced and described ahead of time. It could certainly involve amateur astronomers or even the public, but it would still presumably have at least some research or scientific goal,


  1. Is an "observation campaign" well recognized thing in Astronomy?
  2. Is it self-declared? Do people just come up with them and announce them?
  3. Are there standard ways to announce or coordinate them?
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ My 50 cents: For movable equipment like SOFIA there are definitely campaigns. Also for sites which require a big team working together to be able to measure like AMANDA in Antarctia. Also at ESO for dedicated project weeks where a group of scientists flies over to co-locate and works with a clear goal on a well-defined scope, e.g. calibrating a primary mirror. $\endgroup$
    – B--rian
    Mar 30, 2021 at 16:59
  • $\begingroup$ @B--rian are there examples of multi-site campaigns, where for example several distant observatories coordinate to provide continuous coverage of a target as the Earth rotates them one-by-one into favorable position? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Mar 30, 2021 at 17:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Observing campaigns occur regularly for Solar System objects e.g. iawn.net/obscamp/Apophis There have also been regular campaigns for long period exoplanet transits, pulsating white dwarfs (see Whole Earth Telescope) and eclipsing binaries $\endgroup$ Mar 30, 2021 at 18:36
  • $\begingroup$ @astrosnapper the second link in Is there a collection or list of all planned observations of 99942 Apophis during its 2021 close pass to Earth? references lawn.net but since I couldn't find an actual list that wasn't empty I wasn't sure if the site is what I'd thought it was. Should I expect a list of radio and optical observations there? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Mar 30, 2021 at 23:06
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Top link of iawn.net/obscamp/Apophis/apophis_obs.shtml has this but it's self reported and likely not kept uptodate $\endgroup$ Mar 30, 2021 at 23:13


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