Sun event will be star attraction at Souter

SOLAR EVENT ... sun spots are among the features that visitors will see.
SOLAR EVENT ... sun spots are among the features that visitors will see.

ASTRONOMY fans are in for a treat next week when a sun-gazing event takes place at Souter Lighthouse.

The South Shields Astronomical Society has teamed up with the lighthouse to organise the event, which is the first of its kind at Souter.

Those who attend will be able to use telescopes to see sun spots and solar prominences, which are large and bright features that extend outward from the sun’s surface.

Two well-attended events were held earlier this year at the lighthouse on the Coast Road, Whitburn, and organisers are hopeful of another successful day.

Simon Colvine, visitor experience manager at Souter Lighthouse, said: “We’re looking to build our relationship with the Astronomical Society, and hopefully make this kind of thing a regular event for us.

“Souter’s Solar Spectacular is guaranteed to amaze young and old.

“There is a lot of activity on the surface of the sun.

“It looks very static, though, so you don’t realise it has all this stuff bubbling underneath it.

“With special equipment, visitors will be able to look straight at this fascinating star.

“Come along and see the sun like you’ve never seen it before.”

The event, which is being held next Sunday, starts from 11am.

The South Shields Astronomical Society is 57 years old, and its members will provide the equipment for the day.

Christine Manson, secretary of the society, said: “Some of our members will be there with solar telescopes.

“At no point should anyone look directly at the sun, though.

“If the weather is bad, we will be able to offer talks and demonstrations with the equipment indoors.

“It’s going to be a very good event. There has been an awful lot of solar activity this year.

“I think a lot of families will come down, as well as people interested in astronomy.”

The society is also looking for new members.

Anyone interested should send an e-mail to

From September, they will meet twice a month on Thursdays at South Tyneside College, on St George’s Avenue, South Shields.

Twitter: @danielprince18