Great American Eclipse 2017

17th December Lecture: The Great American Eclipse 2017

On August 21, 2017, millions of people across the United States saw nature’s most wondrous spectacle — a total eclipse of the Sun. 

The ‘Great American Eclipse’ as it has been called was a truly spectacular event for millions of people. This much anticipated eclipse was the most watched, most photographed and most televised astronomical event of a generation.

Graham Darke will explain why we have solar eclipses, the different kinds of eclipse and share his experiences from his August 2017 trip to Idaho.

Details

21st January 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 and 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.

Details

Membership Subscription Renewals for 2017-2018

September is the start of our new season. SAS Memberships will be due from 1st September 2017 (payable throughout September) for this season 2017/2018.

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.

Details

18th February Lecture: Exoplanets – Worlds Around Other Stars

“Exoplanets” or “extrasolar” planets are worlds that orbit stars outside the Solar System.

There are myriad types ranging from the so-called “Hot-Jupiters” to Earth and Super Earth sized planets.

This talk aims to give a brief introduction to exoplanetary science, an exciting field at the cutting-edge of astronomy; describing how we find these worlds and what we can know about them.

Details

19th November Lecture: Grubb Parsons: The first (A gift of stars) – When Geordies reached for the stars

David Kidds’ talk will outline the early history of Grubb Parsons (international telescope manufacturer, based in Heaton Newcastle upon Tyne).

David will be outlining Grubb-Parsons early history leading to the 74” Reflectors.

David’s talk, ‘A Gift of Stars’, will tell the story of how Grubb Parsons came to be in Newcastle and will, in particular, focus on (no pun intended!) the firm’s first big reflector, the 74 inch David Dunlap telescope.

Details

SAS Talk/Lectures 2017- 2018: Now all year round

SAS Members,

You will be pleased to know that as our SAS talk/lectures are so awesome and so well attended that SAS has decided is extending the talk series from  September through to the following August each year.

As always the talks will posted periodically in the SAS Society News and SAS Events Calendar

And a snapshot of the complete talks this season can be found here and on  the SAS Events Calendar (under lectures section).

Please support and attend these talks/lectures if you can.

At these events all raffle fundraising goes directly towards our society’s Washington Wetlands Centre ground rent costs.

Details

15th October Lecture: The lost art of Visual Astronomy

With everyone wanting to get into astrophotography these days, visual astronomy is becoming the poor relation.

Chris Duffy’s talk provides hints and tips to get the most out of whichever telescope you have, or what to get if you are yet to buy one, depending on the type of astronomy you want to do.

Setting expectations of what you will see at the eyepiece and how to find your way around the sky.

Details

SAS Membership Survey 2017: We need your help

Dear SAS Members,

Another astronomy year is upon us.

As you know, we’re the largest Astronomical Society in the North East.

In considering this, we would like your help to steer the direction of our society going forward for the benefits of our members both current and future.

The first aspect of this direction of travel for the society is to canvass your opinion.
To do this we have designed a short online survey ( 9 questions – using surveymonkey) and we invite you complete this survey asap and add your voice to your society’s progression.

This is your opportunity to offer opinion and suggestions to progress your society.

Each SAS member will be sent an email survey invitation to their membership email address with a link to take survey.

This email will be sent out to all members very shortly, with associated text alert reminders.

The survey will close 29th September, to allow for analysis of results.

Details

17th September Lecture: When Gateshead Ruled the World: The Curious story of the Newall Telescope

In the 1870’s Gateshead was one of the world’s most famed astronomical destinations.

The reason was the 25inch telescope, the largest refractor in the world (at that time), owned and run by the wealthy Scottish engineer and amateur astronomer Robert Stirling Newall  FRS FRAS on his estate located next to the present day Saltwell Park.

Newall’s telescope was a magnet to the most famous astronomers, scientists and artists of the day.

This presentation by our SAS President Dave Newton tells the curious history of the telescope and some of the characters associated with it.

Details