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.
The South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) is a facility of the National Research Foundation, which operates under the Department of Science and Technology. SAAO’s headquarters are in the aptly named suburb of Observatory in Cape Town. The main telescopes used for research are located at the SAAO observation station 15Kms from the small Karoo town of Sutherland in the Northern Cape, a 4-hour drive from Cape Town. SAAO Telescopes on the Sutherland Site: SALT, 1.9m, 1.0m, 0.75m, 0.5m, IRSF, ACT. SAAO Hosted Research Telescopes: BiSON, KELT-South, LCOGT, MONET, Solaris, SuperWASP-South.