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South African Astronomical Observatory

Founded in 1820 and located in the leafy Southern suburbs of Cape Town, The South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) is the national centre for optical and infrared astronomy in South Africa.

Its prime function is to conduct fundamental research in astronomy and astrophysics. It does so by providing a world-class facility to scientists.

The SAAO promotes astronomy and astrophysics in Southern Africa, by sharing research findings and discoveries. So, to learn more about the wonders of space, start exploring our website now.


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Delapan planet, termasuk Bumi, berputar mengelilingi Matahari. Illustration by Tobias Roetsch/Future Publishing via Getty Images

Bagaimana planet-planet terbentuk?

Awalnya, planet berasal dari awan gas dan debu yang disebut nebula. Ketika nebula menjadi cukup padat, gravitasi akan membentuk inti yang sangat padat.
Eight planets, including Earth, revolve around our Sun. Illustration by Tobias Roetsch/Future Publishing via Getty Images

Curious Kids: How are planets created?

It all starts with a cloud of gas and dust.
Saturn is one of a few planets in our solar system surrounded by rings. Vadim Sadovski/Shutterstock/Elements of this image furnished by NASA

Curious Kids: why are some planets surrounded by rings?

We’re not sure how the rings work or how they formed, but there are a few theories.


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