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The Society is a body consisting of both amateur and professional astronomers. Membership is open to all interested persons, regardless of knowledge or experience.

Brief history

Shortly after the 1910 apparition of Halley's Comet, the Cape Astronomical Association was established (1912), with SS Hough, HM Astronomer at the Cape, as President. In 1918, the Johannesburg Astronomical Association was created, with RTA Innes, Union Astronomer, as President. Following an invitation from the Cape Association it was decided in 1922 to merge the two Associations to form the "Astronomical Society of South Africa".

From the Cape Astronomical Association Annual Report 1921-1922:

"In accordance with the resolution adopted at the Special General Meeting of June 7th, 1921, instructing your Council to open negotiations with the Johannesburg Astronomical Association with a view to union and the formation of an Astronomical Society for South Africa, your Council have been in communication with the Johannesburg Association and have submitted a draft constitution. This has now been adopted at Johannesburg and will shortly be submitted to you for your acceptance at a special general meeting to be called for that purpose." (anon 1923)

The Society changed its name to the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa in 1956.


The declared objectives, as recorded in the Constitution, are:

  • the encouragement and stimulation of the study of astronomy in Southern Africa;
  • the association of observers and their organisation in the work of astronomical observation and research;
  • the dissemination of such current astronomical information as may be helpful to observers and others interested in astronomy.

    Further reading

    The Society - Where Does it Stand Today? (Gray, M. A.) [1981MNSSA..40...33G]
    The Foundation and Development of the Astronomical Society of South Africa (Long, A. W.) [1930JASSA...2..153L]
    Proposed Astronomical Society of South Africa (anon) [1923JASSA...1...14.]
    Astronomy in South Africa Today (Presidential Address) (Cramb, P.) [1989MNSSA..48..100C]
    75th Anniversary of the Society (anon) [1987MNSSA..46..113.]
    The ASSA Telescopes (anon) [1987MNSSA..46...94.]
    ASSA chooses a ne w logo (anon) [1992MNSSA..51..108.]

    Contact details
    Go to the About ASSA page for full information or the Membership page if you are interested in joining the Society.

    anon (1923) Proposed Astronomical Society of South Africa. JASSA, 1, 14. [1923JASSA...1...14.]



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