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.


Kielder Camp Site

14th – 19th March: Kielder Forest Star Camp

The Kielder Forest Star Camp runs from Wednesday 14th to Sunday 19th March 2018.

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.


20th May: SAS Astrophotography Competition 2018

The Sunderland Astronomical Society’s Astrophotography Competition will held on Sunday 20th May 2018, from 7:00 pm, where the best of our SAS astrophotographer images will be displayed and voted on at this competition event.
Last year’s 2017 Astrophotography Competition winners and runners up , also viewable from the  Astrophotography Competitions drop down menu.
Traditionally, this is held at the end of our  talk season and consequently enjoys something of a more relaxed atmosphere.

This year there will be 2 main categories on Solar System 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.

We also have a new Smartphone category. This can any image and any experience level. 


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.


Derwent Reservoir at night

External Visit 10th March: SAS visits Derwent Sailing Club

SAS visits Derwent Sailing Club.

Date: 10th March 2018

Time: From 7 pm


They are located on the North side of Derwent Reservoir (West of our Dark Sky site) just off the A68 between Corbridge and Consett, providing easy access by car from Hexhham, Newcastle and Durham. We also have many members travelling from Northumbria, Darlington and Sunderland.

Driving Directions
For Sat Nav users the post-code DH8 9PT will usually work, however some Sat Nav’s will take you to the otherside of the reservoir with this postcode.


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.