SAAO - South African Astronomical Observatory

SAAO to capture live footage of Asteroid 1998 QE2 as it makes a close flyby to Earth

On May 31, 2013, asteroid 1998 QE2 will pass by Earth, at a distance no closer than about 5.8 million kilometers, or about 15 times the distance between Earth and the Moon. The asteroid, which was discovered on the 19th August...[more]

Category: SAAO Press Releases


Announcement of Service Observing

The SAAO announces that a new program of service observing is now available. This program gives observers the opportunity to propose observations that do not fit into the one-week blocks of normal scheduled observing. Service...[more]


Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope: first light at the SAAO

The Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope (LCOGT) network has come a significant step closer to completion with the installation and first light of three new 1-metre sized telescopes at the South African Astronomical...[more]

Category: SAAO Press Releases


Asteroid to make a close fly-by on the 15th February 2013

This Friday, February 15 at 09:24 PM South African Standard Time, a near-Earth asteroid named 2012 DA14 will pass the Earth at a distance of about 27 700 km from the Earth's surface (which corresponds to a distance about twice...[more]

Category: SAAO Press Releases


Citizen science : Creating a scientifically literate public

A totally new era in astronomy research is about to hit South Africa hard and fast. Access to the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network (LCOGT) data will afford ordinary citizens an opportunity to unfold the mysteries...[more]

Category: SAAO Press Releases


Dying stellar pair responsible for the majestic shape of the planetary nebula Fleming 1

Astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) have discovered a pair of dying stars orbiting each other at the centre of one of the most stunning examples of a planetary nebula, Fleming 1. The new result confirms a...[more]

Category: SAAO Press Releases


Unwinding the secrets of a dying star

Astronomers looking at the star R Sculptoris have recently discovered that the cloud of dust and gas immediately surrounding the star forms a spiral shape. These observations suggest that the star is not alone, but rather has an...[more]

Category: SAAO Press Releases


SAAO Looking forward to welcoming a new director in 2013.

Professor Ted Williams will be taking over the reins at the SAAO in January 2013. Ted will be joining us from Rutgers University, New Jersey, US, where he is currently a Professor in the Physics and Astronomy Department. Ted is...[more]

Category: SAAO Press Releases


Dual site agreed for Square Kilometre Array telescope

The SKA Organisation has today announced the final decision for the site of the proposed SKA radio telescope, due to be completed in 2024. The SAAO is delighted to hear that both South Africa and Australia have been selected...[more]


"Super Moon" this month!

The Moon will make its closest approach to the Earth (at perigee) for the year in May. It will happen early morning on Sunday 6th May at about 5:33 AM and at this time the Moon will be 357,000 km from the Earth. This will...[more]

Category: SAAO Press Releases

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