Sark

The world's first designated

Dark Sky Island

About Sark

Sark is a small island, fourth largest of the Channel Islands, in the south-western English Channel off the coast of Normandy, France. It forms part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey and has a population of about 600.

On 16th of November 2021 we learned of the death of Dr Richard Axton MBE, the Society's Deputy Chairman and a true friend for many years. Some of you may have had the pleasure of meeting him at the observatory where he was happy to act as a guide, a voluntary job he loved.

Richard was a man of many parts, strong mentally and physically and always ready to undertake projects that benefited Sark. For SAstroS he threw himself wholeheartedly into the building of the observatory, forged friendships with astronomers from our nearby islands and built an astronomically alignedmini-henge which has become a must-see visitor attraction.

Earlier this year Richard was able to make it to the Society's 10th anniversary celebration and enjoy a small slice of birthday cake. He has been with the Society from its inception and will be very much missed by us all. We send our deepest condolences to his family and friends. He will always have a place in our hearts.

Annie Dachinger

About Us

In January 2011 Sark gained International Dark-Sky Association recognition for its exceptional quality of unpolluted darkness, and became the first functioning island community to gain the title of Dark Sky Island. It was during this time that the Sark Astronomy Society (SAstroS) was formed by a band of enthusiastic stargazers eager to share the wonders of Sark's magical night time display with others.

Neowise Comet captured north of Sark

by Sue Daly

Super Blue Moon captured over Sark

by John Hunt on a Sony DSC-QX30 attached to an iPhone SE

31st January 2018

Contact SAstroS

Chairman:

Dr. Anthony Beaumont

email: TBA

Enquiries & Observatory Bookings

Please contact any of the Committee.

Deputy Chair:

Membership enquiries:

Jo Birch (Treasurer)

Secretary:

Reg Guille

Postal address:

SAstroS,

La Ladrie,

Sark,

Channel Islands GY10 1SF

Upcoming Events

The Society hosts annual Starfest celebrations - the first having occurred in October 2011. They generally occur in the autumn or spring to mark both the beginning or end of winter.

During our Starfests we have welcomed a variety of guest speakers:

  • Professor Andrew Coates - Head of Planetary Science, Mullard Space Science Laboratory
  • Dr Marek Kukula - Public Astronomer, Greenwich Royal Observatory
  • Professor Chris Lintott - Oxford University and presenter of BBC The Sky at Night
  • Bob Bower FRAS
  • David Le Conte - (ex NASA) FRAS
  • Dr Kukula enjoyed his first visit so much he has returned several times, most recently in October 2014.
    Our guest speakers always give inspiring and entertaining talks.
  • Steve (darkskyman) Owens
  • Dr Paul Fellowes FRAS

2022

STARFEST August 2022 

SAstroS is pleased to welcome Bob Bower FRAS back to Sark this year after a two year break from any star festivals because of the pandemic. 

P R O G R A M M E 

Bob arrives on Thursday 18th August and will have a supper together with members of the Society in the Island Hall after which he will visit the Observatory. 

Friday 19th 2-4pm 

Talk: “Our Solar System” by Bob Bower

Board Room, Island Hall

5-7pm 

“The Martian”. Film starring Matt Damon (PG) 

in the Sanctuary cinema 

8.30pm 

Open sky viewing from Millennium Field to see sunset and the first stars appearing 

9pm

Observatory sessions with Bob and guides

Bookings required in advance please

Saturday 20th 2-4pm

Talk by Bob “Life Beyond our Solar System:  SETI and Exoplanets”

Board Room, Island Hall 

4-7pm

“Interstellar” (PG) Film starring Michael McConaughey 

in the Sanctuary cinema 

9pm

Observatory sessions with Bob 

Sunday 21st 

Open-sky stargazing from Annie’s garden with friends, neighbours and visitors.

A chance to meet up with Bob over a glass of wine. 

Please note that outside activities depend upon weather conditions. The sun sets at 2023hrs (8.23pm) on Thursday. Pre-booking for Observatory is essential. No charges are made for events but donations towards the Sark Sanctuary and SAstroS would be appreciated. 

Wishing everybody clear skies. Annie 


STARFEST BOOKING

Please book to Reg Guille:

by text to 07781-132156 or email to regguille@cwgsy.net

NAMING OF THE OBSERVATORY

On the evening of Friday, the 6th May 2022 the Observatory was named before a group of 19 members of the Society, as the Dachinger Observatory.

The unveiling of the name board was carried out with a flourish by Annie Dachinger, our Chairperson & Starfleet Commander, promptly at 5.30pm. Please see the attached photograph (curtesy of Sue Daly) of Annie, having just unveiled the name board. Then Annie and the observatory were toasted with suitable refreshments.

Members then had a chance to view the telescope and new pieces of equipment purchased in the past year.

Thanks, must be given to Christopher Beaumont who produced the name board for us, at no charge.

Members then went to the Island Hall for a convivial meal and a bit of socialising.

2021

Update:

Quite a number of Sark youngsters took part in the count of the stars in the square of Orion on Monday 1st March between 7.30 and 8pm. The Head Teacher, Dr Nick Roberts, collated them and the average count was 11 stars. It was a really crisp and clear evening, one of very few this winter it seems like, and perfect for the count.

Monday 1st March

Due to the current lock down situation, the planned star count, as per the newspaper article below, has been postponed until Monday 1st March.

The Sark School will be encouraging the SAstroS Junior members to help with the star count between 7.30 pm and 8.00 pm. That time is after sunset and before the moon rises.

We were unable to do the count at the same time as the Guernsey Astronomy Section and this is the first opportunity to do a bare-eye count in the square of Orion with a forecast clear sky and no moon.

This is open for anyone to do and if the count could be sent to me (Reg Guille – Secretary regguille@cwgsy.net), then I will collate with any results I get from the school.

Links

©2022 This website is the property of SAstroS (Sark Astronomy Society)

Header image of Sark by starlight ©Sue Daly Productions

Website designed and maintained by John Hunt I.T. Support on behalf of SAstroS