Welcome to Sunderland Astronomical Society

Hover/Click on an image to pause.

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

Cygnus Observatory
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 Sunday (informal get together).
  • 2nd Sunday (Astro workshops & observing
  • 3rd Sunday of each (Astro related lecture)

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 Sunday of each month

SAS Workshops4
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.

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.

3rd Sunday of each month

SAS lecture 21-02-16-2
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.

Latest News

Kielder Camp Site

18th – 22th October: Kielder Forest Star Camp

The Kielder Forest Star Camp runs from Wednesday 18th to Sunday 22th October 2017.

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

Membership Subscription Renewals for 2017-2018

September is the start of our new season. SAS Memberships will be due from 1st September 2017 (payable throughout September) for this season 2017/2018.

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

19th November Lecture: Grubb Parsons: The first (A gift of stars) – When Geordies reached for the stars

David Kidds’ talk will outline the early history of Grubb Parsons (international telescope manufacturer, based in Heaton Newcastle upon Tyne).

David will be outlining Grubb-Parsons early history leading to the 74” Reflectors.

David’s talk, ‘A Gift of Stars’, will tell the story of how Grubb Parsons came to be in Newcastle and will, in particular, focus on (no pun intended!) the firm’s first big reflector, the 74 inch David Dunlap telescope.

Details

Saturday Morning Physics – Talk Series: Autumn 2017 – Dates in October, November, December

The Durham University’s physics department is running a new outreach talk series called “Saturday Morning Physics” on eight Saturdays throughout October,  November and December 2017, starting at 10:30am.

What: Saturday Morning Physics Talks Series
When: Eight Saturdays throughout October,  November and December 2017
Where: All talks take place in the  at Durham University James Duff lecture theatre(PH8) in the Physics Department of Durham University, South Road Durham, DH1 3LE. 
Details

SAS Talk/Lectures 2017- 2018: Now all year round

SAS Members,

You will be pleased to know that as our SAS talk/lectures are so awesome and so well attended that SAS has decided is extending the talk series from  September through to the following August each year.

As always the talks will posted periodically in the SAS Society News and SAS Events Calendar

And a snapshot of the complete talks this season can be found here and on  the SAS Events Calendar (under lectures section).

Please support and attend these talks/lectures if you can.

At these events all raffle fundraising goes directly towards our society’s Washington Wetlands Centre ground rent costs.

Details

15th October Lecture: The lost art of Visual Astronomy

With everyone wanting to get into astrophotography these days, visual astronomy is becoming the poor relation.

Chris Duffy’s talk provides hints and tips to get the most out of whichever telescope you have, or what to get if you are yet to buy one, depending on the type of astronomy you want to do.

Setting expectations of what you will see at the eyepiece and how to find your way around the sky.

Details

SAS Membership Survey 2017: We need your help

Dear SAS Members,

Another astronomy year is upon us.

As you know, we’re the largest Astronomical Society in the North East.

In considering this, we would like your help to steer the direction of our society going forward for the benefits of our members both current and future.

The first aspect of this direction of travel for the society is to canvass your opinion.
To do this we have designed a short online survey ( 9 questions – using surveymonkey) and we invite you complete this survey asap and add your voice to your society’s progression.

This is your opportunity to offer opinion and suggestions to progress your society.

Each SAS member will be sent an email survey invitation to their membership email address with a link to take survey.

This email will be sent out to all members very shortly, with associated text alert reminders.

The survey will close 29th September, to allow for analysis of results.

Details

17th September Lecture: When Gateshead Ruled the World: The Curious story of the Newall Telescope

In the 1870’s Gateshead was one of the world’s most famed astronomical destinations.

The reason was the 25inch telescope, the largest refractor in the world (at that time), owned and run by the wealthy Scottish engineer and amateur astronomer Robert Stirling Newall  FRS FRAS on his estate located next to the present day Saltwell Park.

Newall’s telescope was a magnet to the most famous astronomers, scientists and artists of the day.

This presentation by our SAS President Dave Newton tells the curious history of the telescope and some of the characters associated with it.

Details