The Cygnus Observatory is open to organised groups from 1st October to 31st March, inclusive. Visits are by appointment only and a small charge (usually a few pounds) is required to help cover costs. Please contact our Vists & Events Coordinator, using (‘Visits or Event Related Query’) on the Contacts page to book your visit.

Visitors will need to wrap up warm, wear a hat and bring a torch.

The Observatory was built by members of the Society, and was opened by the late14th Astronomer Royal, Sir Arnold Wolfendale, on 2 October 2002. The new observatory was named after the constellation of Cygnus, the Swan, because of the connection to the Wildfowl Trust. Inside the dome is a Meade LX200 14 inch Schmidt-Cassegrain reflecting telescope with full computer control. The GO-TO system will automatically find whatever celestial object the observer wishes to view. The telescope was purchased thanks to the generosity of the City 0f Sunderland\’s SIB grant scheme.

The Cygnus Observatory is run on a voluntary basis and is for the use of members of the Society and the public, with supervision.

Skywatcher EQ8 Mount

The Cygnus Observatory now has a Skywatcher EQ8 mount. This will considerably help SAS to promote the study of Astronomy in the local community.

Skywatcher EQ8This has been achieved from the fundraising efforts from members Sunderland Astronomical (you know who you are) &  from the kind donation from the Community Foundation’s “Frank Acfield Endowment fund.

The Skywatcher EQ8 is undergoing some final tweaks & updates, but like the Death Star it is fully armed and operational!

Due to our dedicated SAS members, we also now have have (limited range) WIFI access in Discovery Centre and  Cygnus observatory. Removable flooring and laptop stands for audio visual presentations/illustrations,etc.

Skywatcher EQ8 Key features:

  • 50 Kg payload capacity.
  • High resolution stepper-motors directly drive the worm gears to minimise backlash.
  • Patented dual-encoder technology for perfect harmony between manual handling and automated Synscan driven operation, never losing the position.
  • Modern driver software with AUTOHOME, PPEC and hardware compatible with the established Synscan handset and the new starchart driven Synscan Tour.

For more information, see:

Find US

Find the SAS.