The origin of the Cleveland Astronomical Society can be traced back to February 1922 when Dr. Jason J. Nassau, Mr. Albert F. Schroeder and Mr. Curt B. Mueller conceived and discussed the idea of forming a club among those citizens of Cleveland and vicinity who were interested in astronomy. Notices published in the Cleveland newspapers and privately communicated to those interested in astronomy resulted in about thirty people attending a preliminary meeting on March 13, 1922 at the University Club (3813 Euclid Avenue). The Cleveland Astronomical Society was actually organized at a subsequent meeting held April 10, 1922 when officers were elected and a constitution was adopted.
The first officers were:
President, Professor J. J. Nassau
Vice President, Mrs. Curt B. Muller
Secretary-Treasurer, Mr. Albert F. Schroeder
Assistant Secretary-Treasurer, Mr. Raymond A. Gordon.
Then their next meeting on May 5, 1922, was held at the Warner & Swasey Observatory on Taylor Road in East Cleveland and they were then incorporated as a non - profit organization on May 28, 1922. From the beginning, membership in the Society has included men and women from all walks of life-lawyers, doctors, engineers, college professors and students, school teachers, business people, and many others who wished to learn more about astronomy.
Since its inception in 1922, the Cleveland Astronomical Society has carried on a program of scientific and social meetings during nine months of the year, October to June.Case School of Applied Science took the Society under its wing from the organizations conception. As a result, C.A.S. has helped promote and provide members the opportunity to see, hear and visit with eminent scientists and engineers who are actively involved in research and contributing to our ever widening knowledge of the universe.
He performed his doctoral studies at Syracuse, and gained his Ph.D. mathematics in 1920. (His thesis was Some Theorems in Alternants.) He then became an assistant professor at the Case Institute of Technology, in 1921, teaching astronomy. He continued to instruct at that institution, becoming the University’s first chair of astronomy from 1924 until 1959 and chairman of the graduate division from 1936 until 1940. After 1959 he was professor emeritus
From 1924 until 1959 he was also the director of the CWRU Warner and Swasey Observatory in Cleveland, Ohio. He was a pioneer in the study of galactic structure. He also discovered a new star cluster, co - discovered 2 novae in 1961, and developed a technique of studying the distribution of red (M-class or cooler) stars.
J. J. Nassau along with a prestigious group of Clevelanders formed the Cleveland Astronomical Society in 1922. He remained as President for 41 years, until 1963.Honors:
The Nassau Astronomical Station at the Warner and Swasey Observatory is named for him.
Nassau crater on the Moon is named for him.
Asteroid 9240 Nassau is named for him. It was discovered May 31, 1997
J. J. Nassau Service Award of the Cleveland Astronomical Society was established November 1, 2007.