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.


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:

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.


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

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.


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

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!


15th May: SAS Astrophotography Competition 2016

It is that time of the year again, the Sunderland Astronomical Society’s Astrophotography Competition will held on Sunday 15th May 2016, from 7:00 pm, where the best of our SAS astrophotography images will be displayed and voted on at this competition event.

Traditionally, this is our end-of-season meeting and consequently enjoys something of a more relaxed atmosphere.

This year there will be 2 categories on Solar System and Deep Sky,  and 3 skill levels: in beginner, intermediate and advanced, and a winner and runners-up photo will be voted on for each category & skill level.


Jupiter Nights Events March 2016

18th & 19th March: Jupiter Nights Events

Back by popular demand, Sunderland Astronomical Society and other invited Astronomical Society’s will be running our annual Jupiter Nights events.

Dates:Friday 18th & Saturday 19th March 2016.

Times: from 7:00 pm.

Free Entry (Contributions to Society fundraising nonetheless welcomed).

Join local astronomers from across the North East for a fun night of assorted astronomical treats at the Cygnus Observatory at the WWT Washington Wetlands Centre.

Search for Extra-Terrestrial Life

21st February Lecture: Extra-Terrestrial Life: An evolutionary biologist’s view

For our 21st February Lecture, Professor  Wallace Arthur from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and a volunteer at Kielder Observatory will be giving an evolutionary biologists view of possibilities of Extra-Terrestrial Life.

The rate of exoplanet discovery over the last 20 years has been incredible. But do any of these newly-discovered worlds act as a home for life?