Award to Sun watcher and Sydney Observatory volunteer Monty Leventhal OAM!


Diagram of the Sun on the morning of Monday 8 June 2009 (Australian time) drawn by Monty Leventhal OAM. Though there are no sunspots, 10 prominences are shown scattered around the edge or limb of the Sun

Previous readers of this blog would be aware of the work of amateur astronomer and member of the Sydney City Skywatchers, Monty Leventhal, as his full disc drawings and digital images of the Sun are regularly used on this blog. Examples are shown in this post. Monty has received awards previously from international astronomical organisations, but now his work has been recognised by the wider community.


“Digital filtergram shows a nice Prominence on the SW limb reaching an approximate height of 56,000 km”, taken on 16 May 2009 at 22:25 UT, image by Monty Leventhal OAM

I was most gratified to see in this morning’s paper that Monty was included in the Queen’s Birthday honours list. He received a Medal (OAM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia. The citation reads “For service to science through volunteer roles at the Sydney Observatory.” Congratulations Monty!

As indicated by the citation he not only observes the Sun on a regular basis, but he has also been volunteering his time to share his passion for the Sun with visitors to Sydney Observatory. You can meet him at the Observatory and look his telescope on every second Sunday.


“Digital filtergram shows a very active Prominence on the NE limb”, taken on 22 April 2009 at 23:15 UT, image by Monty Leventhal OAM

The OAM to Monty is gratifying not only because it recognises his long standing dedication, but it is also a recognisition for the work of amateur astronomers. As the first amateur to be recognised (I am happy to be corrected on this), I hope that Monty will be the trail-blazer and there will be recognisition for many other deserving amateurs in the future.

Well done Monty!

3 responses to “Award to Sun watcher and Sydney Observatory volunteer Monty Leventhal OAM!

  • Just a minor correction to Nick’s article, and more importantly acknowledging other great amateurs that have gone before. Bill Bradfield got an OAM for his comet discoveries. As did Bob Evans for his SNe finds.



    • Thanks Glenn. Your correction is much appreciated. Of course, it is highly fitting that the two best known and most respected amateur astronomers in the country have also received public recognisition. Monty is joining an elite group!

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