The Astronomical Society of Western Australia (Inc.)

ASWA is the premier Astronomical society in the state of Western Australia. We are located in Perth, the world’s most isolated capital city (at roughly 32ºS 116ºE), but are open to Membership from all over the state, the country, the world, or even the Universe. If you check a satellite snap of the Earth at night, you’ll see us as that lonely dot on the west coast of the vast, dark expanse that is Australia.

About ASWA

ASWA was established in May 1950, celebrating its sixtieth anniversary in the year 2010. Genesis Plus 10 is an eye-witness account of our early years written by a foundation and Honorary Life Member, the late Ron Ashe. Ron’s account of ASWA’s early years reveals our unique link with John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth. An expanded account of the events leading up to this occasion may be read in Ron’s telling of ASWA’s involvement in the MoonWatch program of the late 1950s and early 1960s, which monitored those new-fangled artificial satellites that whizzed around the world at unimaginable speeds
As in our early days, ASWA continues to strive to bring the joy of Astronomy within reach of the public and to provide a forum for amateur astronomers of all persuasions to gather together and enjoy this unique hobby. Our aims are:

  • The stimulation of a popular interest in Astronomy.
  • The association of observers, especially the possessors of small telescopes, for mutual help and their organization in the work of Astronomical observation.
  • To promote Astronomical research by amateurs.
We are active in public astronomy and provide a wide range of services to our members, including our Journal The Sidereal Times, an extensive library of books and journals, a telescope loan program, monthly meetings, special interest groups and various other activities.

Do you want to know more about ASWA? Please browse through our website or simply send us a message with your inquiry.

Members’ Activities and Services

Astronomy Classes

Held immediately prior to most Ordinary Meetings. These provide beginners with an introduction to the major areas of astronomy and are also useful to existing members who are seeking to expand their knowledge into new areas. Visitors interested in joining ASWA are welcome. 

Public Astronomy

ASWA holds Viewing Nights for the public at various venues around the metropolitan area, and at schools, clubs, scouts/guides, etc for evenings learning about the night sky and viewing through telescopes. Presentations and talks are also available.

Ordinary Meetings

Held on the second Monday of each month at South Perth Bridge Club, these are ASWA’s major indoor activity and typically features a talk or some other presentation (usually by a guest speaker) on an astronomical subject, hints and tips by members, Society reports and general socializing.

Instrument Loans

ASWA maintains a variety of astronomical equipment (including 4-inch, 8-inch, 10-inch, 16-inch, and 17.5-inch telescopes), and makes some of these items available for loan. Members must have been with the Society for at least six months in order to take advantage of the loan programme (twelve months for the more complicated instruments). Email our Instrument Curator for details.

The Sidereal Times

Published bi-monthly, it contains a range of informative articles (mostly written by members), sky highlights for the coming months, Council and Section reports, classified advertisements, notice of upcoming Society events and details of past activities within the Society.


ASWA recognizes that many astronomical publications may be beyond the budget of the amateur, so our Library contains a wealth of astronomical material – including books, star-maps, catalogues, videos, DVDs, CDs and publications of astronomical organizations worldwide.