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

Membership Subscription Renewals for 2016-2017

September is the start of our new season. SAS Memberships will be due from 1st September (payable throughout September) for this season 2016/2017.

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

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

Details

3rd September: SAS Starbeque

From humble beginnings and as a pre-season event, the annual SAS Starbeque event has now become the stuff of legend and it was our largest attended Starbeque to date.

Held usually on last Saturday in August, but due to the nearest new moon phase it’s the 3rd September 2016, starting at 6:30 pm until very late, observing afterwards if weather is favorable.

 

This is our traditional celebration of the return of darker nights and, as in previous years, will take place at our other site at Derwent Resevoir located at our Millshield dark sky site.

The event is free to attend (members,  invited guests & the public) though you will need to supply your own barbeque goodies (for e,g, food, disposable barbies, etc), scopes, etc.

Details

18th September Lecture: The Search for Intelligent Life & Cygnus Opening Ceremony

Lecture

Sir Arnold Wolfendale FRS. Emeritus Professor of Physics, 14th Astronomer Royal of Durham University will be giving a talk on “The Search for Intelligent Life” on Sunday  18th September 2016 from 7 pm in the Discovery room of Washington Wetlands Centre .

Are we alone in the Universe?’ It’s is one of the greatest questions of our age.
The lecture will deal with historical attitudes to this question and explore what we know of relevance.
With the help from the audience a conclusion of the likelihood of intelligent life out there will be arrived at or not, and the Sir Arnold will give his own conclusions.
The question of ‘where do we go from here?’ will also be examined.

So please come on down and see this world class speaker.

Cygnus Opening Ceremony

As you may know the Cygnus observatory is has a new observatory dome installed with a remote access dome control system.

Therefore  we have invited Sir Arnold Wolfendale FRS to officially open the Cygnus Opening Ceremony. Taking  place before the lecture on Sunday 18th September 2016 from 6:30 pm at the Cygnus observatory.

Details

Fundraising News: Donation of £1000

On Friday, July 8th, the SAS at Washington Wetlands Centre we were presented with a very kind donation for £1000 from the Freemasons of the province of Durham has kindly donated from their Durham Benevolence charitable fund £1000 to the SAS.

This will help enormously in funding for our newly constructed Cygnus Observatory’s dome control system laptop/equipment.

The Chairman, Vice-Chairman , Treasurer and Secretary were there to receive the donation from Dave Dorward and Rod Scott from the Freemasons of the province of Durham .

It’s quite poignant as the Freemasons of the province of Durham had previously kindly donated £1000 in 2002 that was part of a number of community-based funds from local businesses & organisations that helped towards the initial construction of the Cygnus Observatory.

Details

Fundraising News: SAS Supporting fundraising prizes for HASSRA Events

The Sunderland Astronomical Society (SAS) has been nominated by the Health and Social Security Recreational Association (HASSRA) North East region to be the nominated charity for July. This involves various fundraising events at several Civil Service Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) sites throughout Newcastle & Tyne & Wear.

These events are closed events to SAS members (i.e. only open to DWP employees), however the SAS will be supplying drink & either home-baked/shop bought delicacies for HASSRA fundraising purposes/prizes

Access to the Wildfowl Park access is free for HASSRA members if staff would wish to visit the Sunderland Astronomical Society.

There will be several fundraising events & activities at various DWP sites going on throughout July, these are:

Details

Pow Hill Dark Sky Site

3rd July: My Journey into Astrophotography

On Sunday, July 3rd, at 7pm at the Discovery Room , Washington Wetlands Centre. Bring yourself and your laptops (if required) for this talk.

Summer surprise season continues tonight from 7 pm.
David Ettie’s is giving a  talk about his journey into Astrophotography.
Come down and enjoy the talk.

  • Who: David Ettie (SAS Committee Member)
  • When: Sunday, July 3rd at 7 pm.
  • Where: Discovery Room. Sunderland Astronomical Society, Washington.

Cost

  • SAS members:  free.
  • Non SAS members: Suggested society donation £3 (all donations go towards society fundraising).
Details

19th June – Day-time Photography Workshop

On the 3rd Sunday, June 19th, at 7pm at the Discovery Room , Washington Wetlands Centre. Bring your cameras, your memory cards and laptops.

Distinguished photographer & SAS member Larry Bedigan will be doing a hands on tutorial on how to take better (day-time) photographs followed by an introduction to Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop.

  • Who: Larry Bedigan 
  • When: Sunday, June 19 at 7 pm.
  • Where: Discovery Room. Sunderland Astronomical Society, Washington.

Cost

  • SAS members:  free.
  • Non SAS members: Suggested society donation £3.
Details

Astrophotography Competition 2016 – Results

This years astrophotography competition on 15th May 2016 had two main categories

  1. Solar System,
  2. Deep Sky

Three classes of astrophotography for:

  1. Beginners,
  2. Intermediates.
  3. Advanced .

The images in all categories were of a very high standard this year and in some cases between the  intermediate and advanced classes the votes separating the winner and runner-up were separated by only one or two of votes!

Details