Jahresbericht 2022 für

SGAA/SSAA: Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Astrophysik und Astronomie

Präsident/Präsidentin: Dr. Margit Haberreiter

Von: Margit Haberreiter, president@ssaa.ch


One highlight of the year was the SSAA General Assembly, which took place on 6 October, 2022 in Bern at the Center for Habitability and Space (CSH). It was the first in-person GA after the pandemic and attracted 40+ participants. The SSAA GA consists of a business meeting and a scientific session with talks by scientists from different fields and all academic levels.

Since 2018, the SSAA awards the best PhD thesis of the year. This price has been established by George Meynet, at the time the president of the SSAA. At the 2022 GA, it was a great pleasure to hand over the Edith Alice Mueller Price for the best PhD thesis in 2021 to Julia Seidel. Our warmest congratulations again for her achievement.

For further details on the SSAA GA please visit: ssaa.ch/the-society/general-assemblies/ga-2022.


The SSAA has paid the Swiss contribution to the journal "Astronomy and Astrophysics" which allows
researchers affiliated with Swiss research institutes to publish free of charge in this journal.

Tagungen / Kurse

Saas Fee Course 2022

The Saas Fee Course, i.e., the annual winter school of SSAA, was organized under the lead of Carlo Ferrigno and Tassos Fragos on the topic "Compact-Object Astrophysics in the Era of Multi-Messenger Astronomy” from 24 to 28 January 2022 in Saas-Fee, in the Swiss Alps. The meeting was held as a hybrid event and attracted 66 participants from Europe and overseas, the vast majority on site. Three distinguished lecturers: Prof. Ilya Mandel Monash University (in person), Prof. Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz University of California at Santa Cruz, and Prof. Raffaella Margutti University of California at Berkeley (online) gave lectures. For details see https://www.astro.unige.ch/saasfee2022/. This was one of the first schools organized in presence after the Covid crisis with some PhD students not having attended any other in-presence event since the start of their studies. Participants enjoyed the event, as witnessed in an anonymous satisfaction survey. The Saas-Fee Advanced Course Book with lecture material is in preparation.

Internationale Aktivitäten

The president of SSAA, Margit Haberreiter, participated online at the Business Meeting of the European Astronomical Society on June 29, 2022.


The SSAA's goal is to support early career scientist in building up and strengthening their network and collaboration. Each year SSAA announces a call for travel grant. As an outcome of the 2022 call the SSAA supported 5 early career scientists with travel grants. The awardees are Deniz Soyuer (University of Zürich), Jeanne Davoult (University of Bern), Anna Lüber (University of Bern), Sabina Raducan (University of Bern), and Omar Attia (University of Geneva). Congratulations to the awardees for their success. The awardees, also of this and previous years can also be found under the website ssaa.ch/funding/young-scientist-support/.

Dialog mit der Gesellschaft

An important element of the SSAA activities is to support outreach activities. In 2022, the SSAA supported 3 projects, as briefly described in the following.

First, the outreach project "Making Waves" by the Square Kilometre Array Switzerland (SKACH) under the lead of Emma Tolley (EPFL), aims to communicate to the Swiss public about the many benefits of radio astronomy and explain what Switzerland will gain from its participation in the Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO). Initial recording has begun and first episodes are expected to be released later this year on topics such as exoplanets, black holes, and sustainable space missions.

Second, the outreach project "The Spectroscopic Table" by Thibaut Roger (University of Bern) supported the design and realization of this spectroscopic table to demonstrate to the public the visible electromagnetic spectrum and its capabilities that are used in spectroscopy, incl. the demonstration of emission lines, Doppler effects, radial velocity for exoplanet detection and for binary star diagnostics, planetary transit, and many more.

Third, the SSAA supports the outreach project "Salomé #3 - Atmosphere, Greenhouse Effect and Climate" by Baptiste Lavie (University of Geneva). This educational project for Swiss schools aims at raising children's awareness on the consequences of greenhouse gas emissions on the climate of our planet. The two first parts of the Salomé pedagogical project, also supported by SSAA, based on the two books "Salomé: Enquête d'exoplanète" and "Salomé: la lumière du désert" have been a success. There are 15’000 books in circulation and the community of teacher has grown to nearly 400 teachers in all cantons of Romandy.

In summary, the SSAA is happy to observe an increasing interest in outreach activities in the field of astrophysics and astronomy.