Society for Astronomical Sciences


Introduction to SAS

SAS is a non-profit organization that connects people who share a passion for learning about astronomical objects and phenomena. For more than 40 years, we have been conducting events where amateur and professional astronomers can interact and share their knowledge.

What We Do

Man with Telescope
  • Foster interest and participation in astronomical research by backyard and student astronomers.
  • Increase awareness of small telescope capabilities and data to support the professional research community.
  • Facilitate collaborations between professional and amateur astronomers.
  • Encourage publication of relevant results.
  • Provide a forum for networking, learning, and sharing experiences.

If you’re interested in devoting even a little of your telescope time to astronomical research, SAS is the community for you. Come join us and find others with a similar interest in unlocking the secrets of the universe.

40th Anniversary of Our Symposium

In 2021, the Symposium on Telescope Science celebrated its 40th year. This has become one of the premier pro-am events, with 100-150 participants giving papers, attending workshops, and networking with fellow researchers.

A Brief History of SAS

Group of Seven People

SAS traces its roots to the International Amateur-Professional Photoelectric Photometry (IAPPP), which was formed in June 1980. The Western Wing of the IAPPP was formed in 1998 to better support the local interest in small telescope science. In 2002, the Western Wing was incorporated in California and renamed itself the Society for Astronomical Sciences (SAS) in 2003.

SAS Today

Photo Collage

To this day, our organization unites astronomers from around the world and provides avenues to obtain and share knowledge.

About Our Members

Members of SAS include both amateur and professional astronomers. They gather data that are used by professional researchers, perform original research on a wide variety of topics, develop specialized equipment and software to support our independent research. Professional members provide guidance and encouragement and use small telescope photometry, spectroscopy, and astrometry data in their research.

Observers are skilled in:

  • Photometry (e.g., Asteroids and Variable Stars)
  • Astrometry (e.g., Asteroids and Visual Double Stars)
  • Spectroscopy (e.g., Variable Stars and Transient Sources)
  • Polarimetry
  • Speckle Interferometry


The Annual SAS Symposium on Telescope Science sees about a hundred participants from North and South America, Europe, Africa, and the Far East gathering to share their interest in astronomical research. Educational and practical workshops during the symposium provide a forum for learning, teaching, and building the skills of the community of practice in small telescope research.