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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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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?

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