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

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

Our aim is to promote, inspire, inform, empower & advance the awareness & education of the public in the science of Astronomy and related subjects.

SAS in one of the largest, if not the largest and most active astronomical society in the North East.

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

What We Do

Whst We Do
We cater for all levels of Astronomy interest and experience.

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 at  our public observatory at the Washington Wetlands Centre.

We run outreach projects & programs that are recognised by NASA outreach.

Especially interested in  Schools, Cubs, Brownie and Scout groups of all ages to inspire, empower & learn about astronomy and view the night sky.

When We Meet

SAS Workshops at WWT
Our season runs from September to September 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:

  • Every Thursday (open to the public).
  • 1st Sunday (informal get together).
  • 2nd Sunday (Astro workshops & observing.
  • 3rd Sunday of each (Astro related lecture).
  • 4th Sunday (informal get together)

All at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Washington, in the Discovery Centre.

All meetings start from 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.

Meeting Dates each month

Each Thursday of each month

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Every Thursday: Open to the Public, all year round.

Held in the Discovery Room of Wetlands Centre, and in and around our Cygnus Observatory where our members  meet and greet members of the public, potential/new members and show them around and what SAS are all about.

Members also help the those new to the science to get acquainted with their instruments and with finding objects in the night sky.

For more information on SAS activities and other events, see our Society News and/or Events Calendar web pages.

 

Each Sunday of each month

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Every Sunday: Originally informal. Now  it’s held all year round.

Held in the Discovery Room of Wetlands Centre, where our more experienced astronomers help the those new to the science to get acquainted with their instruments and with finding objects in the night sky.

For more information on SAS activities and other events, see our Society News and/or Events Calendar web pages.

 

2nd Sunday of each month

SAS Workshops at WWT
On the 2nd Sunday of each month:

Held all year round, Workshop Meetings are held in the Discovery Room of Wetlands Centre, where our more experienced astronomers help the those new to the science to get acquainted with their instruments and with finding objects in the night sky.

For more information on SAS activities and other events, see our Society News and/or Events Calendar web pages.

 

3rd Sunday of each month

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SAS Lecture

On the 3rd Sunday of each month: From September to August each year, lecture meetings are held and feature a talk lasting around 40 to 60+ 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.

Opening Times

Opening Times

The Cygnus Observatory & Society will be open on the following days of each month for observing, workshop meetings. tutorials and lecture meetings.

  • All observatory open times & society activities will be dependent upon weather conditions and available volunteers.
  • Close times can be extended on the evening for the observatory and member observing, dependant upon available volunteers and weather conditions.
    • At the discretion of SAS commitee members on the evening.

Latest News

Membership Subscription Renewals for 2018-2019

September is the start of our new season. SAS Memberships will be due from 1st September 2018 (payable throughout September) for this season 2018/2019.

Joining/Renewing helps support your local astronomical society & community.

So come on down to the Cygnus Observatory join or renew your SAS membership.

The SAS the largest & probably most active astronomical society’s in the North East, for advice, information, observing the night sky, and get together at various meet-ups, events, visits and join in the ‘Craic’ on all things astronomical.

Details

18th November Lecture: Viewing the Universe in light of Gravitational Lensing.

Einstein’s theory of general relativity famously unified gravity with the geometry of the Universe, making two remarkable predictions:

  • that light-rays take a straight path through space;
  • that mass bends the space surrounding it.

Together, this means that where there is mass, light appears bent, a phenomenon known today as gravitational lensing and a tool used by astrophysicists to study almost everything in the Universe; from planets on stars neighbouring the Sun to weighing the entire observable Universe.

Durham University’s Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy James Nightingale will give a run-through of the exciting and innovative ways that astronomers are using gravitational lensing to obtain a new and unique view of the Universe and speculate how it may hold our best hope of one day disproving Einstein’s famous theory.

Details

28th October – Sunderland Astronomical Society AGM

The Sunderland Astronomical Society AGM will be taking place on Sunday 28th October 2018 from 7:00 pm.

SAS members are invited to attend, listen to chairpersons reports and vote in the election of the committee and nominations are asked from the SAS members.

At the AGM all committee members stand down and members are nominated elected/re-elected.

There are a possible 15 committee places, which includes the named officer posts for the chairperson, vice-chairperson, secretary, treasurer roles.

Details

Northumberland Parking Stargazing Event

19th October: Stargazing Event (Northumberland Park)

Back by popular demand, Sunderland Astronomical Society are will visiting Northumberland Park).

  • Date: Friday 19th October 2018.
  • Time: from 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm.
  • Entry: Free (Contributions to SAS fundraising nonetheless welcomed).

SAS have been asked by the Northumberland Park (the park in North Shields) to hold a Stargazing event on Friday 19th October 2018 from 7.00pm till late.

Details

21st October Lecture: Setting up your Telescope

The telescope is the most important tool for the active amateur astronomer.

While there are many telescopes on the market, the techniques of using them to their full potential is something rarely explained in their user manuals.

Also, the stargazer will find out quickly that the biggest telescope is not always the best choice due to the effort of setting it up and other factor as portability, cool-down times, maintenance, desired functions and many more.

This presentation given by Dr Jurgen Schmoll will have something for every one whatever  your experience level.

Jurgen is amateur/professional astronomer and instrument scientist, covers the bandwidth from simple routines as finder scope alignment and simple maintenance tasks up to what can be done to make observing more frequently and joyful.

At the other end of the spectrum it will be shown how building a full-fledged amateur observatory around the telescope makes observing more joyful.

Details

Saturday Morning Science – Talk Series: September 29th 2018 – 11th May 2019

A series of 22 exciting public talks from world-leading scientists across Durham University’s Science departments, called “Saturday Morning Science” from Saturday 29th September 2018 to the Saturday 11th May 2019, starting at 10:30am. 

Talks on every Saturday between dates:

  • 29th September 2018- 1st December 2018,
  • 2nd February 2019 – 30th March 2019,
  • 27th April 2019- 11th May 2019

What: Saturday Morning Science Talks

When: Saturday dates above from the 29th September 2018 to the 11th May 2019
Where: All talks take place at Durham University’s CALMAN Learning Centre.  For location, see the Saturday Morning Science Programme (at the end of the programme “Getting There”).
Details

Kielder Camp Site

10th – 15th October: Kielder Forest Star Camp

The Kielder Forest Star Camp runs from Wednesday 10th to Monday 15th (am) October 2018.

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

Originally setup and organised by members of Sunderland Astronomical Society(SAS), and now organised by the Kielder Forest Camp Site.

All activities on the main day Saturday are free to attend.

Details