South African Astronomical Observatory

Welcome to the Southern sky

The latest in South African astronomy

Stay informed about COVID-19

Please have a look at for the latest information about the COVID-19 Corona Virus in South Africa. Stay safe!

Due to the COVID-19 virus, all visits, tours and open nights have been cancelled until further notice both in Sutherland and in Cape Town. The visitors centre in Sutherland is closed. Please email or phone 076 900 0308 if you have any queries regarding bookings and tours for Sutherland. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

During this time of lockdown we are offering Online Open Nights.

For more info on coronavirus here is a link to the South African Coronavirus Website

Observations across a range of wavelengths (optical, ultraviolet and X-rays) made in 2019, including those from the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) have captured – for the first time – the powering up of the outburst from an accreting neutron star. It took 12-days for......

The SAAO offers students the opportunity to work with leading researchers on cutting edge astronomy and instrumentation projects. These cover observational and theoretical aspects of stellar and extragalactic astronomy, astronomical instrumentation and computer modelling. There are also numerous opportunities for collaboration with national and international partners....

An international team of researchers, led by Dr Elias Aydi, a former SAAO and University of Cape Town PhD Student, now at Michigan State University (MSU), have discovered a new cause for the incredible brightness observed when a star explodes. The discovery used high-resolution optical......

The MASTER-SAAO Robotic telescopes have contributed to the observation of an unusually energetic gamma-ray burst (GRB) which has prompted astrophysicists to rethink the role of magnetic fields in these enormous stellar explosions. Observations made in the burst’s immediate aftermath show that key features of its......

by Tomasz Nowakowski   Using the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), astronomers have conducted spectroscopic and imaging observations of the planetary nebula WR 72. They discovered hydrogen-poor knots in the central part of the nebula, which could be helpful in improving knowledge about the nature......

more news

Latest Video

Sutherland in Virtual Reality

Experience our world-class telescopes in
the Karoo in fully immersive 3D

Explore Now

Latest events

Loading Events

Upcoming Events

Events Search and Views Navigation

List of Events

Benne Holwerda – What can the Occult Do for You? Using overlapping galaxies to probe dust properties in galaxies

Oct 8 @ 3:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Thursday 8 October 2020 TBC 3pm - 3:30pm via Zoom - please note unusual time!! A/Prof. Benne Holwerda (University of Louisville) What can the Occult Do for You? Using overlapping galaxies to probe dust properties in galaxies Interstellar dust is still a dominant uncertainty in…

+ Export Events