In the year 1982 due to the zeal and perseverance of a Panaji resident and retired government officer Mr. Percival Noronha, the Association of Friends of Astronomy (AFA) was founded by a group of astronomy enthusiasts in Panaji, Goa. Amateur astronomy enthusiasts and tourists are encouraged to stop by and are eagerly helped by the seasoned locals. Dedicated to the appreciation and popularization of Amateur Astronomy, the association was successful in founding the Public Astronomical Observatory at Panaji which is voluntarily managed by the association and supported by the Department of Science, Technology & Environment (Government of Goa), and is the first public observatory in India.
Percival Noronha (26/7/1923 - 19/8/2019) was an exceptional man. Having served the Goa government in high offices of civil service, both in the Portuguese and post liberation era, he was multitalented, multifaceted and gifted with unique qualities. At 60 on retirement in 1982, he started the second innings of life with even more gusto and enthusiasm and founded The Indian Heritage Society (Goa chapter) & The Association of Friends of Astronomy (Goa). He guided the Association of Friends of Astronomy till his last days and is fondly remembered as a beacon of strength and support by the members. He will always be remembered and respected for his demeanor, kindness, politeness, leadership and joyous nature by the people whose lives he touched. PERCIVAL NORONHA's wise words " Honest intentions always beget Honest results " will forever continue to remain in the heart of AFAians and inspire them to lead the institution to great heights.
ASSOCIATION OF FRIENDS OF ASTRONOMY (GOA)
(Registered NGO: Reg.No. 51/Goa/82)
The Association of Friends of Astronomy (Goa) was set up in December 1982 by a group of enthusiastic Astronomy buffs. The Association opens its arms to all individuals who are mesmerized by the awesome universe and are curious to know more about it. Activities like workshops, sky observations, lectures, film screenings, exhibitions etc are regularly organized all over Goa for the popularization of science and astronomy among students and the general public. Association of Friends of Astronomy (Goa) has 8 Centers in Goa: The main unit at Panjim and subunits at Margao, Mapusa, Vasco, Porvorim, Canacona, Sakhali and Rural astronomy centres at Morjim & Borim. Any individual regardless of age and education is welcome to join the Association and enrich his life with the beautiful and timeless hobby of appreciating The Mother of Science, ASTRONOMY.
PUBLIC ASTRONOMICAL OBSERVATORY
(Under Department of Science, Technology & Environment, Govt. of Goa)
The P.A.O. Panjim was set up by the Association of Friends of Astronomy (Goa) in 1990 and is supported and funded by the Department of Science, Technology & Environment (Govt. of Goa). It is the first public observatory to be set up in India and is voluntarily managed by the members of the Association of Friends of Astronomy (Goa). Another Public Astronomical Observatory was instituted in Margao in 2003 and 3rd one came up in 2010 at Mapusa. The Vasco observatory (Founded: 2013) & Canacona observatory (Founded: 2013) were set up with the assistance of educational institutions. Similarly, the Rural Astronomy centres of Morjim, Borim & Sanquelim villages are also set up with the help of schools and have the distinction of being the only Rural Astronomy centres in the Country. At all these centres general public can view the Cosmos free of cost.