Menus above not visible? Use these.

About ASSA Bloemfontein Centre


Astronomy is a field not only practiced by professionals, but also by numerous amateur astronomers. Though not many people make it their hobby, those that do soon find themselves involved in one of the most humble and fascinating pass times . Astronomy not only teaches you respect for the vast intracacies and wonders of nature, but also about yourself, making you a more knowledgable and content person.

ASSA Bloemfontein Centre
... is an astronomy club consisting mainly of amateur astronomers coming together to share their knowledge about this very interesting field. Members range in age from young to old, come from all professions and backgrounds and have various levels of expertise in different fields of amateur astronomy. Whether you are into theory of the practical side of astronomy, you are welcome to come and see what we do at the club.

The Bloemfontein Centre of ASSA was established in 1959. During the Centre's history, meetings were held at Boyden Observatory (Maselspoort) and at the Lamont-Hussey Observatory on Naval Hill, as well as in and around the City of Bloemfontein. The club has a rich and proud heritage on which it still operates today. The complete history can be read in the archives.

What we do
Members meet during Centre quarterly meetings, practical sessions and other activities throughout the year. During meetings we equip ourselves in one or more facet of astronomy. Topics range from night sky observations, deep sky, solar and lunar studies to history and space exploration.

Language / taal
Activities take place mostly in Afrikaans. Aktiwiteite vind oor die algemeen in Afrikaans plaas, maar is nie beperk daartoe nie.

Other joining options

If you feel ASSA Bloemfontein Centre is not for you, but you still want to be part of the astronomical community of Bloemfontein and surroundings, please consult the Friends of Boyden website.

Meetings, activities & venues

Members meet on average about once a month. Events take the form of either:
- official meetings,
- practical outdoor activities,
- training and workshop sessions,
- open evenings for the public,
- tours and away-weekends,
- social events.

Currently, official (quarterly) meetings are held at Boyden Observatory near Maselspoort. Other activities take place at the Observatory or in and around Bloemfontein city. Practical activities consist of:
- educational outreach,
- astrophotography,
- night & deep sky observations,
comets and meteors,
- solar observations,
- historical research.

How to join / application form / fees

Membership fees are R100 per residence addrress / family per year (regardless of how many people in a family reside at the address).

Upon joining, your address is added to the club's email distribution list (you are constantly kept up to date of Bloemfontein astronomy and club events)

It is highly recommended that you have an interest in astronomy before joining the club. Initially you don't have to know anything! You must just have the need to know. If you are not going to practice astronomy as a hobby, but still want to be part of Bloemfontein's astronomy community, joining the Friends of Boyden is an alternative recommendation.

Committee members 2017- 2018

Chairman: Prof Matie Hoffman
Vice Chairman: Prof Thinus van der Merwe
Treasurer/Secretary: Shaun Staats

Additional Members:
Frans Human
Hannes Pieterse

Council representative: Chris de Coning (Cape Town)


Honorary members

Prof. F. Holden
Mr. N. Lincoln
Prof. AH Jarret
Prof. Matie Hoffman (currently at the Department of Physics, University of the Free State, and manager of the Boyden Science Centre).

ASSA Bloemfontein has a club house located at Boyden Observatory. It takes the form of a small two-room observatory building which housed a telescope in Boyden's past research days. The clubhouse is mainly used as an archive and store room, library, marketing point as well as a meeting place for small groups. See pictures. Recently, an 8 inch telescope has been installed in the building.

ASSA Bloemfontein Centre
Contact us.
Top of page
Customized for 1024x768 desktop resolution