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

SAS AGM 2015

Sunderland Astronomical Society AGM – 29th November 2015

The Sunderland Astronomical Society AGM will be taking place on Sunday 29th November 2015 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.


Sunderland Astronomical Society Members ID Badge

New Season Membership Subscription Renewals for 2015-2016

September is the start of our new season. SAS Memberships will be due from 1st September for this season 2015/2016. Joining/Renewing helps support your local astronomical society & community.

So come on down to Cygnus Observatory renew your SAS membership. One of the largest & most active astronomcal society’s in the North East, for advice, information, join in the craic on all things astronomical.


25 years of Hubble

15th November Lecture: 25 years of Hubble

On the 15th November at 7 pm Washington Wetlands Centre Graham Darke from Sunderland Astronomical Society will be giving a talk celebrating 25 years of NASA’s Hubble telescope and its many achievements.

On April 24, 1990, the space shuttle Discovery lifted off from Earth with the Hubble Space Telescope nestled securely in its cargo bay.

The following day, Hubble telescope was released into space, ready to peer into the universe.

Since then, the Hubble telescope has reinvigorated and reshaped our perception of the cosmos and uncovered a universe where almost anything seems possible within the laws of physics.


All Access Mount

20 November: “All Access” Mount – Official Opening by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson

On the 20th November we will be Honoured with the presence of Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson who will do the official opening ceremony of the new “all access” mount we have recent had built.

Please note: This is an SAS members and invited guests only night.

The SAS would like to thank Harry Herron and Dave Beedham who had the initial idea and took it all the way to CAD drawings.

Then the company who manufactured the mount and donated it to the club free of charge. They dont want publicity, so we are honouring their request.

The Newcastle Building Society who gave us a grant of £500 that helped us purchase the telescope. Paul Meade made such a good application to them they granted us the funds.


Josh at Cygnus Observatory

21st November – Fundraising event for 4th Washington cub scouts

This is a fundraising event for 4th Washington cub scouts who are a recently formed pack (and the one that Graham Dark’s son belongs to).

We are doing this as a favour to them to help them raise some funds.

They are coming along with parents and other family members.

There’s going to be a big group – up to 100 people in total from the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts.

The visit is from 6.00pm until 9.30pm on Saturday 21st November 2015.