20th January 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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”).
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