A new Constitution came into effect this year, with the idea of simplifying our operations and making the Society more inclusive. Members are now encouraged to join via the ASSA regional Centres but may choose to stay affiliated as Country Members if necessary. All Centre Members are now full members of ASSA and all Centre Chairmen are automatically Council members.
During the course of the year, double star observations have been received from one observer, Magda Streicher. She used her 12-inch and 16-inch S/C telescopes with an Astrometric eyepiece to measure the position and separation of a 16 double stars in Circinus. She also gave detailed descriptions of the colours and appearance of these stars in the eyepiece. In addition she discussed the possibility of other stars in the field being associated with some of the systems.
Sir Bernard Lovell, Emeritus Professor of Radio astronomy, died on 6 August 2012 at the age of 98. He was the founder and first Director of The University of Manchester's Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire.
From an early date France was very active in space research. In 1961 the CENTRE NATIONAL D;ETUDES SPATIALES (CNES) was established by President Charles de Gaulle with headquarters in Paris, France and under supervision of the French Ministries of Defence and Research. Also in 1961, the Hammaguir missile range was established in Algeria, some 113 kilometres to the south east of Colomb-Bechar. Tests were conducted with various missiles, including the ballistic DIAMANT rocket which had satellite launch capability. The site operated until it had to be evacuated before 1 July 1967 and was replaced by the Guiana Space Centre in South America.