Sævar Helgi Bragason/12. apríl 2007
The Stjornuskodunarfelag Seltjarnarness (The Icelandic Word "Stjornuskodunarfelag" can be translated to "Society of Astronomy and Stargazing") is the biggest amateur astronomical society in Iceland. It has approximately 300 members who share interest in astronomy and stargazing.
The society is located in Seltjarnarnes (hence the name), which is a suburb of the capital Reykjavík and has a small room in Valhusaskoli (an elementary school). On top of the roof is a dome where the society’s main telescope, a JMI NGT-18, is kept. The NGT is an 18 inch Newtonian reflector, the biggest telescope in Iceland and members of the society have full access to it. However, because of severe light pollution in the area, we will most likely move it to a permanent observatory outside of the city for clear, unpolluted skies.
The society also has two other telescopes; a 10 inch Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain and a 14 inch Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain. The Celestron was also the society’s first telescope attained in 1975, a year before the club was founded. Members can borrow the ten inch telescope any time they like. Click here for more information on the telescopes.
The society was founded in March 1976 by a group of twenty people. The first chairman was Saemundsson, Thorsteinn (an astronomer at the University of Iceland). The board of directors in 2012-2013 is based on five elected members, which are:
Membership is open to individuals and their families regardless of their knowledge on astronomy. People do not have to own a telescope to be a member of the society. The society is built on enthusiasm, interest and desire to learn about the wonders of the night sky and the universe, and share it with others. The annual membership fee is 3,000.- ISK.
Each year the society publishes a newsletter devoted to club activities and astronomy related topics. The society also offers a seminar for members and the public about amateur astronomy and stargazing. Public solar observing parties are held two times a year but tourists and locals can contact us any time if they are interested in stargazing with us.