Coronal Mass Ejection NASA/org

18th March Lecture: The Sun’s Active Atmosphere

The Sun may appear placid at first glance, but a closer look reveals an incredibly active atmosphere. Some of the most spectacular eruptions in our solar system occur there every day.

Some of these eruptions are relatively small, whilst others occur on a truly colossal scale.

In this talk, Dr Peter Wyper  and will explain a bit about these eruptions and show how researchers such as myself use numerical models to understand them better.


17th June Lecture: How Telescopes are made

For over 400 years now astronomy prospers by the use of it’s most important tool, the telescope.

In this lecture  Dr Jurgen Schmoll will show how these wonderful instruments were once made and how they are made today, focusing on research telescopes as well as on amateur equipment where examples of mass production are shown as well as ways to make your own telescope at home.


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.


26th January: Beamish Stargazing Event

One of the North Easts largest Museums and largest Astronomical Societies have teamed up give the public a truly unique astronomical event, to Inspire, Educate and Inform the public on the amazing show going on above our heads.

Date: Friday 26th January 2018.

Times: from 6:30 pm – 9:30pm.

Price: £5 Ticket Entry (tickets can be booked and purchased via the Beamish website, Beamish Events Bookings).

Event size: 350, so get your tickets asap!

Join local astronomers from across the North East for a fun night of assorted astronomical treats at the several sites at Beamish.


21st January Lecture: Viewing the Universe in light of Gravitational Lensing (CANCELLED)

UPDATE: The SAS Lecture tonight has been cancelled at short notice due to severe weather and transport difficulties of lecturer getting to wetlands.

It will be re-schedule for later date.

The SAS are still opening up as normal from 7 pm. It strongly suggested to use the main car park due to the weather conditions. 

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.


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.

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.


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.