About CAS

About the Canberra Astronomical Society

The Canberra Astronomical Society Inc. (CAS) was established in 1969 to serve the needs of amateur astronomers within the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and surrounding regions. CAS members have a wide variety of skills and interests, and we cater for the beginner and advanced astronomer alike.
You do not need a telescope to join!

CAS is committed to promoting cooperation between amateur and professional astronomers and has active public outreach and education programs.

CAS has forged strong links with the Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics (RSAA) at Mount Stromlo, and some RSAA staff are also CAS members.

We publish a monthly journal, Southern Cross, as well as an annual Ephemeris for the ACT region—both of which are distributed free of charge to CAS members. An extensive archive of Southern Cross issues are available on this web site (login required).

Information on how to join CAS is available on the Join page.

The Origins of our Society Badge

“Around 1972, and probably following the National Australian Convention of Amateur Astronomers (NACAA) which had been held in Melbourne that Easter, it was decided by the then committee that the Canberra Astronomical Society should have a badge. I have no clear recollection of this, but I believe that it may have been prompted by the custom of exchanging society badges at NACAAs in those days.

At the committee discussion it was suggested that an incentive in the form of a prize should be awarded to the winner, and a 14-inch (35.5cm) square contact print taken by the Schmidt telescope of the Large Magellanic Cloud was obtained for that purpose.

I duly relayed the requirements to an artistic friend who worked with me in the Department of Defence, and extolled the virtues of his winning a photo taken by the famous UK Schmidt Telescope at Siding Spring. Since I recollect that he had never shown any interest in my hobby previously, I suspect that the possibility of winning this prize was no great incentive. However, very quickly he came back to me with a drawing, and I handed it to the committee.

I cannot recall the designs of any other contestants, or indeed how many designs were entered, but I recall that the winning design was unanimously agreed to be best.

What he used for inspiration I have no idea. My efforts to contact him have failed, but I recollect having asked him a similar question soon after his winning, and I think his answer produced nothing tangible. Why, for instance he should have used an ancient-Egyptian-like figure at his telescope when, in fact, the telescope was almost certainly invented much later and by Europeans, I have no idea. It is however an eye-catching, yet simple, design and I hope the society continues to use it well into the future.

For the record, the name of the designer of the CAS badge was Timothy M. Anderson, and he was employed in the seventies by the Department of Defence (Navy) as an electrical design engineer.”

Gerry Kellock

The current CAS committee extends their continuing thanks to Timothy Anderson for the logo.

Note: The artwork was revised for the computer age in 2001 by Peter Enzerink for use on this web site as well as our official merchandise and letterhead.