Welcome to Sunderland Astronomical Society

Sunderland Astronomical Society (SAS) was formed in July 1993 by an enthusiastic group of local amateur astronomers. We are one of most active and largest astronomical society’s in the North East with lots of things going on (for e.g. observing, related projects, astro events, meetings, lectures, visits, and outreach), so come on down and take a look.

Who We Are

SAS are a dynamic, active, open and friendly group of local amateur astronomers.

Our aim is to promote, inspire, inform, empower & advance the awareness & education of the public in the science of Astronomy and related subjects.

SAS in one of the largest, if not the largest and most active astronomical society in the North East.

We support the whole of Tyne & Wear community and North East region with anything astronomical.

What We Do

We cater for all levels of Astronomy interest and experience.

We are especially pleased to welcome newcomers into the fascinating study of the heavens.

Regularly provide astronomically themed talks, observing sessions, projects & workshops in schools, at other venues/establishments, within the North East region at  our public observatory at the Washington Wetlands Centre.

We run outreach projects & programs that are recognised by NASA outreach.

Especially interested in  Schools, Cubs, Brownie and Scout groups of all ages to inspire, empower & learn about astronomy and view the night sky.

When We Meet

SAS Workshops at WWT

Our season runs from September to September each year.

See our Events Calendar for all our SAS related events, for e.g. visits, lectures, public outreach, local community engagement events, etc.

We hold meetings on:

  • Every Thursday (open to the public).
  • 1st Sunday (informal get together).
  • 2nd Sunday (Astro workshops & observing.
  • 3rd Sunday of each (Astro related lecture).
  • 4th Sunday (informal get together)

All at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Washington, in the Discovery Centre.

Astro related lectures  and Astro workshops from 7 pm.

Other meetings from 6 pm over the dark nights (this is subject to volunteer availability and the weather conditions).

Meetings are free to attend, so you can come along and see if the Society is for you before you join up.

Also to socialize and join in the craic on all things space & astronomical.

Meeting Dates each month

Each Thursday of each month

Every Thursday: Open to the Public, all year round.

Held in the Discovery Room of Wetlands Centre, and in and around our Cygnus Observatory where our members  meet and greet members of the public, potential/new members and show them around and what SAS are all about.

Members also help the those new to the science to get acquainted with their instruments and with finding objects in the night sky.

For more information on SAS activities and other events, see our Society News and/or Events Calendar web pages.

 

Each Sunday of each month

Every Sunday: Originally informal. Now  it’s held all year round.

Held in the Discovery Room of Wetlands Centre, where our more experienced astronomers help the those new to the science to get acquainted with their instruments and with finding objects in the night sky.

For more information on SAS activities and other events, see our Society News and/or Events Calendar web pages.

 

2nd Sunday of each month

SAS Workshops at WWT

On the 2nd Sunday of each month:

Held all year round, Workshop Meetings are held in the Discovery Room of Wetlands Centre, where our more experienced astronomers help the those new to the science to get acquainted with their instruments and with finding objects in the night sky.

For more information on SAS activities and other events, see our Society News and/or Events Calendar web pages.

 

3rd Sunday of each month

SAS Lecture

On the 3rd Sunday of each month: From September to August each year, lecture meetings are held and feature a talk lasting around 40 to 60+ minutes, either by a visiting professional astronomer or an experienced amateur astronomer.

The Cygnus observatory will be open afterwards for observing if weather is permitting.

For more information on lectures, see our Society News and/or Events Calendar web pages.

Opening Times

Opening Times

The Cygnus Observatory & Society will be open on the following days of each month for observing, workshop meetings. tutorials and lecture meetings.

  • All observatory open times & society activities will be dependent upon weather conditions and available volunteers.
  • Close times can be extended on the evening for the observatory and member observing, dependant upon available volunteers and weather conditions.
    • At the discretion of SAS commitee members on the evening.

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Latest News

September 2021 News Update

Dear SAS members, At our August Committee meeting the Committee discussed how we can start to return to normal and start meeting up in person again. The management of the Washington Wetlands Centre are still very cautious about mass gatherings indoors and have asked that we keep numbers to a minimum. Therefore, we have therefore…

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SAS Memberships – New Season 2021-2022

September is the start of our new season (September – August). SAS Memberships start form 1st September 2021 to 31st August 2022.   Free Membership Renewal (2021-2022) The SAS committee decided to wave the 2021 membership renewal fee for all existing members. This would normally have become due on 1st September, however as we have…

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11th September: SAS Starbeque

SAS Starbeque event at Derwent Reservoir Car Park. Date:  Saturday 11th September 2021, Time: From 7 pm until very late, observing afterwards if weather is favorable. Venue: Will take place at at Derwent Reservoir located at our Millshield dark sky site. This is our traditional celebration of the return of darker nights and, as in previous years…

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19th September Lecture(via Zoom): Astronomy in the North East

The North East of England has a rich astronomical heritage and this talk will examine a timeline which started in the Neolithic period right up to modern day research and the recent explosion in Astro tourism in our region. In this talk Graham will look at the people, organisations, places and practices which have often…

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8th October: Stargazing Event (Northumberland Park)

Back by popular demand, Sunderland Astronomical Society are will visiting Northumberland Park). Date: Friday 8th February 2021. Time: from 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm. Entry: Free Event – Pre-Book Tickets on Eventbrite SAS have been asked by the Northumberland Park (the park in North Shields) to hold a Stargazing event on Friday 8th October 2021 from 7.00pm till late.

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18th July: SAS Astrophotography Competition 2021 (via Facebook)

Hi Everyone,   The hope that Covid restrictions would have been lifted by now lead us delay the competition until July. However with the extension of distancing rules etc. to the 19th July, and possibly longer, the committee feel it would be wrong to delay it further.  The competition with therefore take place on Facebook…

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16th May Lecture: Visiting Virgo

The evening sky in Springtime allows astronomers to view a large number of distant objects called galaxies, centred around the starry pattern of Virgo. In this talk Dave Newton describes how the Virgo galaxy cluster is structured and explains what we are actually viewing, and: How this relates to our place in the Universe, How…

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