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.

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

18th February Lecture: Space Dogs – and their legacy

During the 1950s and 1960s the Soviet space program used dogs for sub-orbital and orbital space flights to determine whether human spaceflight was feasible. In this period, the Soviet Union launched missions with passenger slots for at least 57 dogs. Most survived; the few that died were lost mostly through technical failures. In this fascinating talk Dr Pete Edwards, Director of Science Outreach at Durham…

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23rd February: Stargazing Event (Northumberland Park)

Back by popular demand, Sunderland Astronomical Society are will visiting Northumberland Park). Date: Friday 23rd February 2024. Time: from 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm. Entry: Free Event SAS have been asked by the Northumberland Park (the park in North Shields) to hold a Stargazing event on Friday 24th February 2024 from 7 pm till 10 pm.

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21st January Lecture: Astrophotography – Getting Started

In this months talk, Chris Duffy our current Chair will be giving an exciting and interactive  talk on “Astrophotography – Getting Started”. The talk covers the basic principals in taking pictures of astronomical objects. This includes nebula, galaxies, stars and the planets. The talk includes demonstrations using telescopes, cameras and other equipment setup at the…

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28th December: Christmas Benker Night

Sunderland Astro Xmas Benker night. Traditionally between Christmas and New Year has been our night (if you attend we will enlighten you on what the Benker Night means?, nothing wrong with an incentive to try to get people to come along. Saturday 28th December 2023 at the Washington Wetlands Centre, from 7.00pm.

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17th December Lecture: Planetary Nebula

In this months talk, Graham Darke the Society’s honorary President will introduce us to a fascinating class of astronomical object. He will cover the discovery of these objects in the 18th Century, their properties and what makes them of interest to both professional and amateur astronomers. Graham will explain techniques for observing and capturing images…

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Membership Subscriptions & Renewals for Season 2023-2024

September is the start of our new season. SAS Memberships will be due from 1st September 2023 (payable throughout September) for this season 2023/2024 Joining/Renewing helps support your local astronomical society & community. So come on down to the Cygnus Observatory (based at the Washington Wetlands Centre) to  join or renewyour SAS membership. The SAS is…

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29th October – Sunderland Astronomical Society AGM

The Sunderland Astronomical Society AGM (Via Zoom) will be taking place on Sunday 29th October 2023 from 7:30 pm at our base of operations Discovery Room at the Washington Wetlands Centre. Zoom AGM meeting details will be distributed via our SAS email service or upon request from  zoom-meetings@sunderlandastro.com.  SAS members are invited to attend, listen to chair’s reports…

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