Welcome to the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa (ASSA), a vibrant community where amateur and professional astronomers alike find a gateway to the cosmos. Open to everyone, ASSA embraces members irrespective of their astronomy knowledge or experience.


Observe the Big 5

Observing highlights for February 2024

2024 February 16: The Moon occults the Seven Sisters

On the evening of Feb 16, the Moon moves through the stars of the Pleiades (Messier 45). The series of occultations start late in the evening and will be widely seen across southern Africa. A telescope will show a fascinating view as many stars are blinked out by the Moon’s dark limb.

During February, Venus and Mars can be seen in the morning sky before sunrise. The pair have a close approach on Feb 22. With some luck, Mercury can also be spotted early in the month.
Venus, Mars and Mercury are visible in the east during the first half of February. Venus is the brilliant Morning Star this month. Look for Venus near the Moon, at noon, on Feb 07. In the pre-dawn sky, Venus starts the month above Mars, drawing closer together each evening. During the last week of February, Venus is below Mars. Mercury lies below the pair moving steadily sunward each day. It remains visible for the first half of February, thereafter slipping into the solar glare heading for conjunction on Feb 28.

After sunset, Jupiter is prominent; binoculars will pick up Uranus and Neptune. Jupiter shines brightly in the north-west throughout the month as the Evening Star. Saturn can be seen for the first few days of the month.

Further details appear in the 2024 edition of the Sky Guide.

About us

At ASSA, our National Council and a network of autonomous Centres across the country work together to foster astronomical passion. Joining a local Centre automatically enrols you in the national organization, offering a universe of opportunities. For those in remote locations, our Country Membership is your link to the stars from any corner of South Africa.

The Society publishes the annual Sky Guide and the peer-reviewed journal MNASSA. Additional publications are released from time to time.

Discover the wonders of the cosmos through our specialized Sections. Catering to diverse interests from celestial events to astrophotography, there’s a place for every star enthusiast.

We celebrate excellence in astronomy with prestigious awards like the Gill Medal and Overbeek Award, honouring both advancements in the field and significant contributions to our society. Our Honorary Membership recognizes individuals who have made a remarkable impact in popularizing or advancing astronomy, while our Section Directors commend achievements with Director’s Commendations and Observing Certificates.

Join ASSA for a journey into astronomy. Our community welcomes enthusiasts at all levels, offering a space for learning and sharing under the Southern skies. Your membership awaits!

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