Still active today, the Association of Lunar & Planetary Observers and its journal got their start on March 1, 1947.

Covers of The Strolling Astronomer
Recent covers of The Strolling Astronomer. Its first issue came out on March 1, 1947.
Sky & Telescope

Not having been married, I have never had to joy of being beaten over the head about forgetting an anniversary. And I nearly had forgotten about one near and dear to the hearts of solar-system observers.

Yesterday, and indeed this entire month, marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Association of Lunar & Planetary Observers! The first issue of ALPO's Journal — otherwise known as The Strolling Astronomer — was released on March 1, 1947.

Walter Haas retired as ALPO's executive director in 1985 but continued to observe for two decades. Here he's seen relaxing at a gathering of amateur observers in 2000.
S&T: Dennis di Cicco (left); Steven Larson (right)

ALPO was founded by Walter Haas, who sadly passed away not quite two years ago. His vision for our organization — one capable of promoting, stimulating, and coordinating amateur observation of the solar system and documenting those observations in its Journal and its own observational archives — still goes on.

ALPO has been blessed with dedicated staff and an engaged membership over its many years and will continue serve solar-system astronomy using the most current techniques in observational astronomy and communication.

Thank you, everyone, for making the ALPO what it is today!

The ALPO team has launched a series of podcasts to keep observers up to date on the organization and its activities. The first three feature Matt Will, Wayne Bailey, and Ken Poshedly.


You must be logged in to post a comment.