Welcome to Sunderland Astronomical Society

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Sunderland Astronomical Society (SAS) was formed in July 1993 by an enthusiastic group of local amateur astronomers. We are one of most active and largest astronomical society’s in the North East with lots of things going on (for e.g. observing, related projects, astro events, meetings, lectures, visits, and outreach), so come on down and take a look.

 

Who We Are

SAS are a dynamic, active, open and friendly group of local amateur astronomers.

SAS - Jupiter Nights event at NSLC Feb 2014Our aim is to promote, inspire, inform & advance the education of the public in the science of Astronomy and related subjects.

We support the whole of Tyne & Wear community and North East region with anything astronomical.

 

 

 

 

What We Do

We cater for all levels of Astronomy interest and experience.

SAS Event

We are especially pleased to welcome newcomers into the fascinating study of the heavens.
Regularly provide astronomically themed talks, observing sessions, projects & workshops in schools, at other venues/establishments, within the North East region and at our public observatory at the Washington Wetlands Centre.
Run outreach projects & programs that are recognised by NASA.
Especially encourage Schools, Cubs, Brownie and Scout groups of all ages to inspire & learn about astronomy and view the night sky.

 

 

 

When We Meet

Our season runs from September to May each year.

See our Events Calendar for all our SAS related events, for e.g. visits, lectures, public outreach, local community engagement events, etc.

We hold meetings on the 2nd and 3rd Sunday of each month at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Washington, in the Discovery Centre and all meetings start at 7 pm.

Meetings are free to attend so you can come along and see if the Society is for you before you join up. Also to socialize and join in the craic on all things astronomical.

 

2nd Sunday of each month

SAS Workshops at WWTOn the 2nd Sunday of each month: Held all year round, Workshop Meetings are held in the Discovery Room of Wetlands Centre, when the more experienced astronomers help the those new to the science to get acquainted with their instruments and with finding objects in the night sky.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3rd Sunday of each month

SAS Lecture

On the 3rd Sunday of each month: From September to May each year, lecture meetings are held and feature a talk lasting around 30 to 45 minutes, either by a visiting professional astronomer or an experienced amateur astronomer. The Cygnus observatory will be open afterwards for observing if weather is permitting.

For more information on lectures, see our Society News and/or Events Calendar web pages.

 

 

Thursday Evenings

Sunderland Astronomical SocietyNow held all year round, the Cygnus Observatory is open on Thursday evenings to the public and members from 7pm till 9pmgiven available volunteers & weather permitting.

For for any changes to the above meetings you can also see updates and/or join our Facebook SAS Group page.

Latest News

Formation of the Solar system

17th April Lecture: Origins of our solar system: What we know in 2016.

SAS committee member Natalie Lowes will talk about the formation of the Solar  System .

The Solar System is estimated to have begun 4.6 billion years ago with the gravitational collapse of a small part of a giant molecular cloud.

Most of the collapsing mass collected in the center, forming the Sun, while the rest flattened into a protoplanetary disk out of which the planets, moons, asteroids, and other small Solar System bodies formed.

Details

SAS Astro photo Competition 2015

15th May: SAS Astrophotography Competition 2016

The Sunderland Astronomical Society’s Astrophotography Competition will held on Sunday 15th May 2016, from 7:00 pm, where the best of our SAS astrophotography images will be displayed and voted on at this competition event.
Traditionally, this is our end-of-season meeting and consequently enjoys something of a more relaxed atmosphere.

This year there will be 2 categories on Solar System and Deep Sky,  and 3 skill levels: in beginner, intermediate and advanced, and a winner and runners-up photo will be voted on for each category & skill level.

For example:
  • Solar System: Beginner;
  • Solar System: Intermediate;
  • Solar System: Advanced;
  • Deep Sky: Beginner;
  • Deep Sky: Intermediate;
  • Deep Sky: Advanced.

Skill Level Key :

  • Beginner: Less than/equal to 1 year astrophotography expereince;
  • Intermediate: Between 2 – 3 years astrophotography expereince;
  • Advanced: Greater than 3 years astrophotography expereince.
Details

Jupiter Nights March 2016

18th & 19th March: Jupiter Nights Events

Back by popular demand, Sunderland Astronomical Society and other invited Astronomical Society’s will be running our annual Jupiter Nights events.

Dates:Friday 18th & Saturday 19th March 2016.

Times: from 7:00 pm.

Free Entry (Contributions to Society fundraising nonetheless welcomed).

Onsite parking limited.

Join local astronomers from across the North East for a fun night of assorted astronomical treats at the Cygnus Observatory at the WWT Washington Wetlands Centre.

Details

16th March: AstroChemistry Themed Event at Cygnus Observatory

Sunderland Astronomical Society will be inviting the local section of the Royal Chemistry Society (RSC) to an Astrochemistry/Astronomy Themed Event.

Date: Wednesday 16th March 2016.

Times: From 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Entry Price: RSC Members: Free, Friends & Family: £3 pp

Contributions to Society fundraising nonetheless welcomed.

Join local astronomers from across the North East for a fun night of assorted astronomical treats at the Cygnus Observatory at the WWT Washington Wetlands Centre.

Details

Kielder StarCamp

2nd – 6th March Kielder Forest Star Camp

The Kielder forest Star camp runs from Wednesday 2nd to Sunday 6th March with spaces already filling up!

The Kielder Forest Star Camps are run twice a year, in the spring (usually in Feb/March) and in the autumn(usually in October).

All activities on the main day (Saturday) are free.

Update: as of  22/03/16 non-electrical pitches are available.

Details

Search for Extra-Terrestrial Life

21st February Lecture: Extra-Terrestrial Life: An evolutionary biologist’s view

For our 21st February Lecture, Professor  Wallace Arthur from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and a volunteer at Kielder Observatory will be giving an evolutionary biologists view of possibilities of Extra-Terrestrial Life.

The rate of exoplanet discovery over the last 20 years has been incredible. But do any of these newly-discovered worlds act as a home for life?

Details