Membership Subscription Renewals for 2019-2020

September is the start of our new season. SAS Memberships will be due from 1st September 2019 (payable throughout September) for this season 2019/2020.

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.

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17th November Lecture: Gravitational Waves – Einstein, Einstein, give us a wave!

Just over one hundred years ago Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves on the basis of his General Theory of Relativity.

For over 20 years physicists have been trying to catch the first gravity wave without success until February 2016 when the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) announced that they had recorded the ripples from two black holes colliding.

The Dr Pete Edwards talk will focus on this historic discovery, the technology behind gravitational wave detectors and explore the dawn of multi-messenger astrophysics.

There are many wonderful images (public domain) at the LIGO website 

https://www.ligo.caltech.edu/images

Gravitational waves offer a new way to uncover the universe.

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15th December Lecture: Astronomy for Beginners

Astronomy for Beginners – A simplified view of the universe.

  • How to start observing by finding some of the main stars and constellations.
  • Understand how the stars appear to move across the sky.
  • Why does what we see in the night sky change with the seasons and where does Orion go in the summer?
  • What are stars and galaxies and how big is the universe.
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Kielder Camp Site

30th October – 4th November: Kielder Forest Star Camp

The Kielder Forest Star Camp runs from Wednesday 30th October 12:00pm to Monday 4th  November 2018 12:00pm.

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.

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20th October Lecture: Giant Impact Simulations: Why Does Uranus Spin on its Side?

Uranus spins on its side. With its spin axis pointing almost at right angles to those of all the other planets, the common explanation is that a proto-planet at least as large as the Earth crashed into the young planet, sending it spinning in this new direction.

Giant impacts like these were common events in the early solar system and help explain many other mysteries such as the origin of the Moon, as well as features of the exoplanets we see around distant stars.

Jacob’s team run supercomputer simulations with millions of particles to re-create and study these cataclysmic events.

In this talk, Jacob will focus on our recent work with Uranus and how this violent impact might also explain the planet’s extremely cold surface, strange magnetic field, and unusual satellite system.

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25th October: Stargazing Event (Northumberland Park)

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

  • Date: Friday 25th October 2019.
  • 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.

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13th October – Sunderland Astronomical Society AGM

The Sunderland Astronomical Society AGM will be taking place on Sunday 13th 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 will 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.

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15th September Lecture: Swimming in the Water Hole: Exploring the depths of the Autumn skies

The Autumn is one of speaker Dave Newton’s favourite times of year for astronomy, thanks in part to the longer, darker nights.

Importantly, in Autumn evenings we are looking away from our own galaxy (the Milky Way) and into the deep space beyond.

The Autumn constellations have a decidedly watery theme, containing Pisces the fishes, Cetus the sea monster, and Aquarius the water bearer amongst other.

While this patch of dark sky is seemingly devoid of bright stars, it is home to some fascinating objects.

Dave will show us some of the sunken treasures that can be found if you are prepared to go diving in this deepest part of the sky.

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31st August: SAS Starbeque

SAS Starbeque event at Derwent Reservoir Car Park.

  • Date:  Saturday 31st August 2019,
  • Time: From 7 pm until very late, observing afterwards if weather is favorable.
  • Venue: Will take place at at Derwent Reservoir located at our Millshield dark sky site.

This is our traditional celebration of the return of darker nights and, as in previous years a preseason event starter. 

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.

Note: There is now a car parking charge of £1.50 for the night Millfields Car Park.

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18th August Lecture: Who won the space race?

The talk will be about the successes, and failures, of the Soviet Space Programme focusing on the story of Sergei Korolev and the Semyorka (seven) launcher and Soyuz spacecraft  he designed which are both still in service unlike all the US Apollo hardware which has long since retired.

When US astronauts go to the International Space Station in a Soyuz capsule on top of a Semyorka rocket perhaps it is appropriate to ask  the question “who really won the space race?” and look again at the history of space in the 1960s.

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