IOTA History

IOTA History

This page is in development. It is intended to provide information on the formation and history of IOTA. Those who have documents or photographs, or wish to provide some reminisces on IOTA’s early days are invited to send them to the secretary at If your material is not in electronic form, you can also mail it to IOTA, PO Box 20313, Fountain Hills, AZ 85269-0313. Please include postage and a mailing label or self-addressed envelope if you want the material returned.


1623 – Simon Newcomb wrote “I believe we must accord to BULLIALDUS the honor of being the first to actually observe the time of an occultation with a telescope.” His observation of a Spica reappearance on July 5,1623, observed from Paris, was made before clocks were available. The event time was computed using the relative positions of stars. This event is the first in David Herald’s list of occultation observations.

1975 – An image of the IOTA founding announcement is available here.

1983 – IOTA incorporates in the State of Texas, with the intent of becoming a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The approval came a few months later.

The beginning chapters of “Chasing the Shadows” contain information on the early days of IOTA and the initial contributions from the observers of the first years.