2024 ASSA Annual Awards

The Society has a number of awards to recognise the contributions of its members to astronomy in South Australia. The awards seek to encourage and recognise a diverse range of activities including notable contributions by amateur astronomers, the publication of original articles in the Society's newsletter, outstanding astrophotography, and significant contributions to Society activities by its members.

The 2023 Astrophotography Exhibition: Marie Wills


Astrophotography Awards for 2024


Deep Sky

Deep Sky refers to the imaging of objects in the night sky that are beyond our Solar System. This includes galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters—essentially, any celestial body outside of the solar system. The image must not incorporate a foreground land or seascape.

Solar System

The Solar System category is for images of solar system objects taken with a telescope such as planets, the sun, natural satellites (e.g. the Moon), comets and asteroids. The image must not incorporate a foreground land or seascape. Wide-field solar system shots (e.g. a comet with a foreground terrestrial scene) should be entered in the Nightscape category.


Nightscapes combine beautiful terrestrial foregrounds with a night sky scene - often in a single exposure (HDR is OK) or as a multi-shot panorama. Widefield images often  incorporate foreground land or seascapes along with astronomical phenomena such as auroras, lunar or planetary conjunctions, comets, constellations, or the Milky Way.

Timelapse Video

Timelapses should be videos that are intriguing or highlight concepts and events not obvious or significant in stills. Astrophotographers are invited to submit animations, produced as either time-lapse sequences or with other forms of video. They can be of any subject, provided there is a distinct astronomical link.


In Smartphone Astrophotography we are looking for images that have been taken with a smartphone, either as a nightscape image of an astronomical scene that has some aesthetic appeal and/or that has captured something you might not expect to see from such a tiny camera, or through a telescope or some other optical system to provide a deeper perspective. The best entry in each of these categories will receive a specific award.

From the above five categories of entry, the following three additional awards will be made:

The Craig Richardson Memorial Award – offered by the Richardson Family and selected from the Nightscape. Timelapse and Smartphone entries received involving a land or seascape foreground. Craig Richardson was a keen and active member of the ASSA from the late 1980's until 2001 and best known for his enthusiastic approach to the observation and photography of the Aurora Australis, or Southern Lights.

The ASSA Junior Astrophotography Award – to an entrant 18 years or younger at the time of submission, selected from all eligible entries received.

The Overall Best Astrophotography Award – selected from among the five category winners.


All entries in the five categories above will be assessed by independent judges Peter Ward and Phil Hart.

The entry form is available HERE.

Conditions for Entry:

  1. Entries will be accepted only from current members of the Astronomical Society of South Australia (ASSA).
  2. Entries must be received no later than midnight ACST on 30 June 2024.
  3. ASSA now accepts electronic entry forms only. Each image must be submitted along with a completed entry form available HERE.
  4. The majority of the data used to construct the images must have been taken since 1 May 2023, and no re-entries from previous ASSA competitions will be accepted.
  5. All entries must be images that faithfully reflect and maintain the integrity of the subject. Image manipulations or composites that grossly distort the intrinsic qualities of the subject, or produce works that are more "digital art" than true astronomical images, will be deemed ineligible.
  6. There is a limit of 3 entries per category per photographer.
  7. Electronic images must be submitted as JPG files with the longest side having a dimension no greater than 3000 pixels and should not exceed Adobe 1998 RGB colour space. Use of plain sRGB or monochrome is also permitted if the imager prefers this format. 
  8. As video files will be too large to email, please instead email a link to your own personal Dropbox, Google Drive or other file share location. Please set permission to allow access by “awards-ap-entries@assa.org.au so that ASSA’s Awards administrators can download a copy of your video file.
  9. Animated sequences can be submitted up to full HD resolution (1920x1080) in MP4 file format and must not exceed one minute in length.
  10. The Junior section is for photographers 18 years old or younger at the time of submission of the entry. Images and processing must be solely the work of the junior member.
  11. Entries that combine images from professional observatories, taken by professional astronomers, for purposes other than creating the entry in question, will be disqualified.
  12. To preserve anonymity, the submitted image files should not contain identifying metadata.
  13. Image copyright rests with the entrant(s). However a non-exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free worldwide licence is granted to the Society to reproduce the image in its publications and social media channels.
  14. The Judges’ decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.


2024 Service Awards

The Awards Committee is actively seeking nominations for the 2024 Service Awards. Nominations from members are welcome - please email your nomination before midnight 30th June 2024 to awards@assa.org.au together with a brief description of why the nominated member deserves the award.

Award Categories

Service Award

The Service Award is presented to a Member in recognition of their exceptional service to the Society over several years, up to and including the current membership year. This award is a testament to the member's dedication and selfless contributions as a volunteer. The recipient of this award demonstrates devotion, consistently going above and beyond in their efforts to support the society's mission and values.

Life Membership

The Society welcomes suggestions for Life Membership at any time. These nominations should be forwarded through a Council Member. Honorary Life Membership is a significant honour bestowed upon a notable member of the Society. Honorary Life Members are entitled to all the privileges of Full Members and are invited to attend Council meetings.

Bill Bradfield Astronomy Award

The Bill Bradfield Astronomy Award is awarded to an amateur astronomer who is a resident of South Australia, in recognition of their notable contribution to Astronomy either through astronomical discovery, research, or observational astronomy over an extended period of time. This is the Society’s premier award, named after Bill Bradfield, a Past President and Honorary Life Member of the Society and discoverer of 18 comets - the most comet discoveries by an amateur astronomer in the 20th century.


Past recipients include:


Year Recipient Biography


ASSA e-Callisto Project Team

South Australian members of the e-Callisto Team (Peter Gray, Blair Lade, John Duffield, David Bennett, Tique Bennett and Duncan Campbell-Wilson) for excellence in design and construction of instruments for the recording of solar activity in radio wavelengths, monitoring and analysing solar radio outbursts and thus contributing critically to a wider international effort in solar radio astronomy.


Andrew Cool

Andrew worked with the Mid Murray Landcare SA consortium of local Councils and landcare environmentalists for more than 2 years to help establish a dark sky reserve in South Australia. Andrew established Sky Quality Meter data for the locations within the reserve area and compiled this into the submission for accreditation status.


Robert Jenkins


Robert received the Award in recognition of the excellent work he has done in the past few years in the area of variable star observing. Not only has he carried out valuable scientific observations to support various observing programs, but he has worked very hard to encourage others in ASSA to get involved as well.


David Benn

David received the Award for the creation and development of VStar. VStar is a variable star data visualization and analysis software tool, which David has provided free to the astronomical community. Visit the VStar website https://www.aavso.org/vstar-overview to download the software and for more information.


Paul Haese

Paul Haese received the Award in 2011 for his work on imaging Jupiter and contributing to the JUPOS program.


Blair Lade

Blair received the Award in 2010 for his observations of the Charon occultation. The Award was presented to Blair by Honorary Life Member Steve Cook.


Terry Moon

Terry was presented with the Award for his internationally acknowledged efforts in gathering visual and photometric observations/data of beta Gruis over the period 23 September 2003 to 6 August 2005. His observations resulted in the reclassification of beta Gruis from "slow irregular" to that of a "semiregular with poor periodicity" class. Terry conducted observations from his roll-off-roof observatory at his home and his findings were published in the Journal of the American Association of Variable Star Observers.


Blair Lade

Bill Bradfield presented Blair with the Award for his scientific observations of Pluto. Blair co-authored a paper with the MIT which was submitted to Nature as a result of his observations.


Michael Mattiazzo

Michael has spent many nights of diligently searching for comets, doing variable star observations and occultation reports. Mike typifies the best of what we should all aspire to in observational astronomy, as Bill has before him. Too few members are involved in this, so to receive this is a great honour indeed.


Jenni Kay

Jenni has spent many years painstakingly studying dark sky objects. She has also written a book entitled "A Visual Survey of Star Cluster and Nebulae of the Magellanic Clouds".


Justin Tilbrook

At the 2001 Annual Dinner, Bill presented the award to Justin Tilbrook for his thorough research of the sky for comets. At the time the award was presented, Justin had discovered two comets and continues to search for them.


Fraser Farrell

Fraser Farrell was presented with the first award by Bill Bradfield in 2000. He received the award for:

  • consistent observation and reporting of variable stars,

  • publishing Binocular Variables for Southern Observers, a collection of observing charts and notes for neglected bright southern variables (The Dot Book), and

  • participation in international observing campaigns through the VSS, RASNZ, AAVSO and VSNET.


 All awards will be presented during the ASSA Annual Dinner scheduled for 14 Sep 2024