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Today's Events

  • Next Full Moon: 16/09/2016
Moon Image No:5

Mansfield & Sutton Astronomical Society

Welcome to the Mansfield and Sutton Astronomical Society. We are a non-profit making registered charity dedicated to furthering interest in astronomy within the local community.

Planetarium Project

We’re raising money to build a Planetarium on the land next to our Observatory so that we can expand and enhance our astronomy education outreach activities.

If you do any shopping online and would like to help us raise some funds, at no cost to yourself, please register to support us at Easyfundraising. For information about how Easyfundraising works, watch this Youtube video:

If you want to get involved, follow this link:, create an account and choose “Sherwood Observatory Planetarium” as the Cause to support, and we’ll get an extra £1 donated to the fund when you make your first Easyfundraising purchase.

Also, if you're searching the internet, why not use Easysearch instead of your usual search engine and every result clicked will earn half a penny for our fund. It might not sound like much, but think of how many times you search the internet each day...all those halfpennies soon mount up. This is the Easysearch link:

Public Open Evenings

During Autumn and Winter the society holds public open evenings once a month.

The first open evening will be on Saturday 8 October.

Activities on offer include:

  • A talk on an astronomical topic.
  • Opportunities to view the moon and astronomical objects through the societies’ main 61cm Newtonian reflector and a variety of smaller telescopes (weather permitting).
  • An introduction to finding your way around the night sky with the naked eye and binoculars (feel free to bring your own binoculars along).
  • Short video presentations on astronomical topics.
  • Displays on the solar system and beyond, astrophotography, and the society.
  • Meteor detection by radioastronomy.
  • Opportunities to ask questions about astronomy.
  • Refreshments.

For more information see our Public Open Evenings page.

"The Night Sky" Evening Course

The course run by the members of the Mansfield & Sutton Astronomical Society covers all aspects of modern astronomy, with a bias towards hands-on practical sessions whenever the weather permits.

For more details, or to register an interest in future courses, please email

Dark Skies

The expansion of Ashfield and Mansfield over the years since our observatory opened has substantially reduced the quality of night sky viewing and MSAS has long been an advocate of keeping our skies as dark as possible. Astronomy is a popular pastime enjoyed by many local people and the members of our society but there are precious little dark sky sites in our locality.

We are supporters of the British Astronomical Association's Commission For Dark Skies and the Peak District National Park Authority's Dark Skies project, and advise local business about efficient exterior lighting to reduce light pollution and save money and energy.

We have also campaigned against proposals for substantial housing development on greenbelt land near our observatory, and a large sand quarry within 3/4 mile of our site due to the impact we believed these would have on light pollution levels.

Society Patrons

The society is pleased to count the 13th Astronomer Royal Professor Sir Francis Graham-Smith F.R.S. and Professor Michael R. Merrifield, from the University of Nottingham School of Physics and Astronomy as its patrons.

Professor Sir Francis Graham-Smith held the position of 13th Astronomer Royal from 1982 to 1990, and also officially opened the Sherwood Obervatory in 1986.

Mike Merrifield primarily studies the properties of nearby galaxies using telescopes at radio, infrared, optical and even X-ray wavelengths.

Sherwood Observatory,
Coxmoor Road
Sutton-in-Ashfield, Notts,
NG17 5LF, England
Telephone (+44) 01623 552276
Lat.: 53° 06' 50" N, Long.:01° 13' 20.7" W
Altitude above sea Level 187.9 m

The Mansfield & Sutton Astronomical Society is a registered charity (No. 518183), devoted to promoting and advancing public education in astronomy.

Copyright ©1971 - 2016 Mansfield & Sutton Astronomical Society - Registered Charity No. 518183 - Contact Us.