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.

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Latest News

18th December Lecture: The Far Side of the Moon

The Moon is a shy body, it only ever shows one sides of itself to the  Earth. Before the space age we had no idea what was on the far side of the Moon. This has led to a number of conspiracy theories that it is a haven for aliens.  In this talk, we’ll chart the…

Details

29th 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. Thursday 29th December 2022 at the Washington Wetlands Centre, from 7.00pm.

Details

20th November Lecture: The Pluto Story

This talk is all about Pluto, how it was discovered in 1930 and how discovery and observations of KBOs eventually led the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in 2006 to declassify Pluto from being a planet. Although ‘what is a planet?’ Might seem to be an easy question to answer, it turns out that the ensuing…

Details

16th October – Sunderland Astronomical Society AGM

The Sunderland Astronomical Society AGM (Via Zoom) will be taking place on Sunday 16th October 2020 from 7:00 pm. Zoom AGM meeting details will be distributed via our SAS SMS text service or upon request from  zoom-meetings@sunderlandastro.com.  SAS members are invited to attend, listen to chair’s reports and vote in the election of the committee and nominations are…

Details

7th October – Stargazing Spectacular at St Mary’s Light House

SAS have been invited by St Mary’s Lighthouse & Visitor Centre to participate in this event:  observing, talks & SAS stuff at St Mary’s lighthouse on Friday 7th October 2022. This is one of the biggest annual events in our calendar and it’s not too late to decide to come, we always need as many…

Details

18th September Lecture: Now you see it, now you don’t

The search for Vulcan (not that one!) and other solar system enigmas The history of astronomy is littered with ‘sightings’ of objects that subsequently turned out not to exist.    Some of these observations were from reputable observers.   What was going on?   In this talk, Ann will describe several examples including the famous intra-Mercurial ‘planet’ Vulcan. In this…

Details

SAS Memberships – New Season 2022-2023

September is the start of our new season. SAS Memberships will be due from 1st September 2022 (payable throughout September) for this season 2022/2023 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 renew your SAS membership. The SAS is the largest…

Details

3rd September: SAS Starbeque

SAS Starbeque event at Derwent Reservoir Car Park. Date:  Saturday 3trd September 2022 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…

Details

28th August: SAS Astro boot Sale

Astro Boot.  Come down to the Wetlands Centre and sell your unwanted astro gear. You can post you items for sale on our related FB pages. We have accumulated a lot of astro gear over the over the last few years and we’re running out of space. We’re therefore holding an Astroboot sale on Sunday…

Details