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Future Public Events (top) / Previous Event Reports

[(top)] [Future] [Past]
MAS events

  Future Public Events  

This page is dedicated to events promoted by Maidenhead Astronomical Society aimed at bringing an awareness and appreciation of astronomy to the general public. Almost all of the Events listed here are run by MAS (the few that are not are plainly marked)

(-)  1 Apr 2017 Stargazing Live

Saturday, 1st April 2017, Observing from 7pm at White Waltham Airfield, Maidenhead, SL6 3NJ (home of the West London Aero Club). Maidenhead Astronomical Society presents:- Stargazing Live ! This event is totally free (free entry, free parking), but donations are welcome towards our venue hire costs. If there is anything left over (not usually!) we would put them towards educational materials for our outreach activities with schools, cubs, brownies etc. We will be open to the public from about 6.30 and will run to after 10pm. Observing (Moon watch) from about 7pm, star gazing after sunset (7.30). There is ample parking but if busy, please follow marshalls instructions. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Please stay within the designated chained off grass area where the telescopes will be. MAS members will be setting up their telescopes for public viewing and talks will be held in the Conference Room that opens directly out to the airfield where our telescopes will be (look for the MAS / 'Star Gazing Live' banners) NOTE. This event will go ahead even if the weather is a bit 'iffy' (should it actually rain, we will bring our telescopes indoors and talk to anyone who is interested). Facilities The Restaurant closes at 6pm, however the Club has a fully licensed bar. The 'Snacks' Menu is available up to 7pm (order from the bar), after which the kitchen is closed (although toasted sandwiches may still be available from the bar). Tea and Coffee from the bar at £1. Cakes and confectionery are also available. Talks etc. Will take place in the conference room next to the bar. You do not book for these talks but simply turn up. The first starts at 7pm and they are approx every 20 mins/ half hour. The talks will be repeated during the evening (depending on demand/numbers). Presented by members of MAS, as follows, and in this order - Tim Haymes               "An Introduction to telescopes" Peter Hainsworth      "An introduction to astro photography" Martin Dyer               "An introduction to Gravity" There will be a written 'Quiz' (and a small prize), following the talks. Viewing MAS members will be on hand with their telescopes setup to view some of the many objects visible in the night sky (weather permitting). In the early evening, before it gets really dark, high in the SW we will see the 5 day old waxing Crescent Moon. As the Sun sets in the west, at about 7:30, it will be followed by the planet Uranus (which will have totally disappeared by 8:30 = the chances of catching a glimpse depends on an unobstructed view to the western horizon). Looking to the South, from dusk, we will see  Sirius rising above the horizon (the brightest star in the Northern Hemisphere, Sirius is frequently mistaken for Venus, however Venus (like Mercury) will always be found near the Sun - either in the West at dusk (following the Sun down), or, as at present, rising in the East before the Sun, at dawn) Photo: ../Events/photos/2017-04-01-8-40-looking-west.jpg
Following the Sun down to the west, we will see a half phase Mercury (at it's greatest W Elongation), however it will have disappeared below the horizon before 9:30.

About 1/3rd the distance from Mercury to the Moon we will find Mars (which will be visible until 10pm).

Then, roughly half way between Mars and the Moon (forming the hoof of the right leg of Taurus) is the Pleiades, a bright cluster of 7 visible new stars (hence the popular name '7 sisters' - although many more than 7 can be seen in a telescope !). In the days before light pollution, all 7 of the 'sisters' could be seen by keen eyes = the most I've ever managed without a telescope is 5  = how many can you see ?

Continuing to the east, nicely placed between the Moon and Sirius, is the constellation of Orion with it's famous nebula, M42. This is visible to the naked eye as a 'fuzzy patch' in Orion's 'sword' (or dagger') below the 'belt' (it's the 3rd of the 4 'objects' making up the sword - the first is the open cluster NGC1981) The 'biggie' planet of the evening will be Jupiter. This will be rising from the horizon in the East at about 8:30pm (but is still only 20 degrees above the SE horizon by 10:30pm as Sirius sets in the SW) so to view Jupiter we will need a clear path to the southern horizon. To find the nearest Galaxy to our own, Andromeda (M31) - which will appear upright ('standing on it's edge') - locate the constellation of Andromeda (about half way between Mercury and the 'big W' of Cassiopeia) and follow the 3 stars in the 'arm' to the right'. The Andromeda Galaxy is just off the end of the arm, slightly down and to the right (shown [ ] in the image above right (click it for a bigger view))
For a Report on one of our previous Stargazing Live events see here This event, consisting of public talks and observing, is organised in conjunction with the BBC StarGazing Live !
This note last modified: 24th Mar 2017 13:17.


(+) 21 Aug 2017 Solar Eclipse - (partial from UK)

(+) 27 Jul 2018 Total Lunar Eclipse

(+) 11 Nov 2019 Transit of Mercury (2nd of pair)

(+) 10 Jun 2021 Solar Eclipse - (partial from UK)

(+) 25 Oct 2022 Partial Solar Eclipse

(+)  7 Mar 2025 (and 22) Major Lunar Standstill

(+) 29 Mar 2025 Partial Solar Eclipse

(+) 12 Aug 2026 Solar Eclipse

(+) 26 Jan 2028 annular Solar Eclipse

(+)  1 Jun 2030 annular Solar Eclipse

(+) 28 Jul 2061 Hallys Comet returns

(+) 23 Sep 2090 Total Solar Eclipse - (the next visible from UK)

  Laser Pens  

Maidenhead Astronomical Society may use Laser Pens as a pointer during outreach events and talks. Any such use will comply with our Laser Pen Policy, which may be downloaded from here (.pdf)

Essentially, only responsible adults pre-approved by MAS are allowed to use a pointer at an outreach event. Children under the age of 18 and non-approved adults are not be allowed to use the laser pen at any time. Any member of the public bringing their own device (without pre-approval) is asked not to use it during one of our events (and will be asked to leave if they are not willing to comply with this request).

Note. MAS holds Public Liability Insurance via our membership of Federation of Astronomical Societies.
Our Policy Document for 2017 is available for  download here


  Past Events (reports)  

Here you will find reports of MAS events held in the last 10 years or so (i.e. since the MAS web site effectively 'took over' from printed newsletters as the primary means of 'reporting back' to the membership). Some details have been removed to allow for public viewing

The Members Only section contains details of MAS History going back to our formation in 1957

Note that this page does not include Observing session reports (which have a separate page)

(-)  8 Mar 2017 1st Stoke Poges Guide Unit - (Outreach)

Weds. 8th March 2017 - 1st Stoke Poges Guide Unit (Outreach). Present: Adrian, Andy, Robin, Steve report by Steve This was our second attempt to deliver our talks to the Guides and, I'm glad to say, this time it 'went to plan'. Although the forecast was not good, for once the clouds stayed away and, on arrival (a little late, having misjudged the traffic in Slough (again :-) ) I was able to set-up with Robin and Andy outside aiming our kit at Venus, Mars and the Moon. The Guides arrived at about 7pm and all managed to see all 3 objects, remarking especially the thin Crescent phase of Venus and the impact craters on the Waxing Gibbous (3/4 phase) Moon. The clouds stayed away long enough for Robin to deliver his 'finding Polaris' talk outside with his laser pen ! As part of the Guides 'badge', they had to identify some specific constellations and find some specific stars - Robin took them all through this before we retired indoors for Adrian's Moon talk. Since the 'pack' only consisted of 6 actual Guides (plus 4 assistants, including the pack-leader) we were able to take questions and offer additional information as we went along. Back indoors, Adrian completed the Moon phases talk and demonstration (assisted by Robin on the lamp) and then showed a short video featuring the early bombardment of the Moon soon after its formation, and how this released lava from the still molten core to fill in the impact basins creating the 'seas'. After the Moon had largely cooled, further impacts continued during the ‘Intermediate Cratering period' then pock-marked the surface with the impact craters still visible today. He then went into the difference between Asteroids, Comets, Meteors etc. and showed another short video, whilst Robin passed around some meteor (or, to be exact, since they reached the Earth's surface, meteorite) samples, one from Meteor Crater (Arizona, USA) the other from a meteorite that came down in Peru. With time pressing (it was already gone 8pm) I launched into the Solar System talk with Robin helpfully placing the planets as I went through them. We finished up with a telescope talk and then took a few questions. A very worthwhile and memorable event as this is one of the very few where we had a chance to do some real observing !
This note last modified: 10th Mar 2017 09:09.


(+)  7 Mar 2017 19th Maidenhead Cubs - (Outreach)

(+) 21 Feb 2017 Furze Platt Cub Pack - (Outreach)

(+)  7 Feb 2017 St Pirans School - (Outreach)

(+)  7 Feb 2017 1st Wargrave Cubs - (Outreach)

(+)  2 Feb 2017 Wildcats Cubs Wargrave - (Outreach)

(+) 19 Dec 2016 Cookham Dean Primary School - (Outreach)

(+) 25 Nov 2016 Bayfordbury Observatory - (members visit)

(+) 17 Nov 2016 Taplow Brownies - (Outreach)

(+) 21 Oct 2016 Lowbrook Academy Science Week - (Outreach)

(+) 17 Oct 2016 19th Maidenhead Beavers - (Outreach)

(+) 17 Oct 2016 Holy Trinity School Science Week - (Outreach)

(+) 10 Sep 2016 Pinkneys Scout Camp - (Outreach)

(+) 11 Aug 2016 Perseid meteor watch - (Ockwells Park)

(+) 11 May 2016 1st Datchet Cub Pack - (Outreach)

(+)  9 May 2016 Transit of Mercury - (Public observing at Ockwells)

(+)  9 May 2016 Parkinsons UK at SportsAble - (outreach)

(+) 30 Mar 2016 Claires Court Holiday Club - (Outreach)

(+) 16 Mar 2016 Trinity St Stephens First School - (Outreach)

(+) 15 Mar 2016 Eton End School - (Outreach)

(+) 14 Mar 2016 Holy Trinity Primary School - (Outreach)

(+) 26 Feb 2016 Pinkneys Green and Boyne Hill Altwood Scouts - (outreach)

(+) 11 Feb 2016 Cox Green School STEM - (Outreach)

(+)  4 Feb 2016 Burchetts Green Infants School - (Outreach)

(+)  1 Feb 2016 3rd Cookham Brownies - (Outreach)

(+) 14 Jan 2016 6th Windsor Cubs and Scouts

(+)  1 Jan 2016 Comet Catalina 2013

(+) 12 Dec 2015 Geminids watch - (at Ockwells Park)

(+) 30 Nov 2015 21st Cox Green Beavers - (outreach)

(+) 26 Nov 2015 Furze Platt Beavers - (Outreach)

(+) 21 Nov 2015 A history of the Sun - (St Cross College OXFORD (not by MAS))

(+) 18 Nov 2015 Leonid meteor watch - (canceled)

(+) 12 Nov 2015 1st Cookham Dean Brownies - (outreach)

(+) 24 Oct 2015 Cavendish Lab - (Members coach trip)

(+) 17 Oct 2015 (to 23 Oct) Orionids Meteor Shower

(+) 10 Oct 2015 Solar Observing Ockwells Park - (members only)

(+)  6 Oct 2015 Sequela Foundation - (outreach)

(+) 28 Sep 2015 Total Lunar Eclipse

(+) 27 Sep 2015 Super Moon (followed by a Lunar Eclipse)

(+) 29 Aug 2015 Public Solar Observing - (lunchtime at Norden Farm)

(+) 11 Aug 2015 Perseids Meteor watch - (Cancelled due to bad weather)

(+) 18 Jul 2015 St Nicholas School camp - (Outreach)

(+) 23 Jun 2015 Courthouse School - (Outreach)

(+) 27 May 2015 Claire Court School - (Outreach)

(+) 11 May 2015 Finchampstead Brownies (Outreach)

(+) 15 Apr 2015 Exploring the Realm of the Giants - (Cafe Scientifique Henley (not by MAS))

(+) 21 Mar 2015 StarGazing Live 2015 (and Telescope Workshop)

(+) 20 Mar 2015 Solar Eclipse (Ockwells Park)

(+) 13 Mar 2015 13th Maidenhead Scouts at Braywick

(+)  8 Mar 2015 Cox Green Wives Group

(+) 25 Feb 2015 Taplow Guides (Outreach)

(+) 25 Feb 2015 Taplow Brownies (Outreach)

(+) 24 Feb 2015 Tilehurst Brownies (Outreach)

(+) 12 Feb 2015 Cox Green Cubs (Outreach)

(+) 10 Feb 2015 21st Maidenhead Cubs (Outreach)

(+) 30 Jan 2015 1st Furze Platt Brownies (Outreach)

(+) 29 Jan 2015 1st Woodland Park Brownies (Outreach)

(+) 26 Jan 2015 Burnham Grammer School (Outreach)

(+) 13 Dec 2014 Meteor Watch (Ockwells Park)

(+)  5 Dec 2014 Comet rendezvous free talk at RAL (booking required)

(+) 20 Nov 2014 1st Maidenhead - (cubs (Outreach))

(+) 15 Nov 2014 Public observing and meteor watch at Braywick

(+) 10 Nov 2014 Pinkneys Green Beavers (Outreach)

(+)  6 Nov 2014 1st Emmer Green (Outreach)

(+) 21 Oct 2014 Sequela Foundation (Outreach)

(+) 27 Sep 2014 Cubs Space Camp at Stoke Poges (Outreach)

(+) 26 Sep 2014 Mark Thompson at Norden Farm

(+) 14 Sep 2014 (week to 21st) MAS at Maidenhead Library

(+)  5 Aug 2014 WINGS 2014 International Scouting Jamboree (Outreach)

(+) 21 Jun 2014 Taplow Primary School family camp (Outreach)

(+) 21 Jun 2014 Big Brownie Birthday (Outreach)

(+) 14 Jun 2014 Greenwich Observatory visit (Members)

(+)  5 Apr 2014 Pop up shop - (Maidenhead Town)

(+) 27 Mar 2014 Scouts (Outreach)

(+) 10 Mar 2014 Burnham Grammer (Outreach)

(+)  8 Mar 2014 National Astronomy Week

(+)  8 Mar 2014 National Astronomy Week Telescope workshop

(+) 11 Jan 2014 Stargazing LIVE 2014

(+)  7 Jan 2014 SGL at Portsmouth

(+) 12 Jan 2013 Stargazing LIVE 2013

(+) 30 Nov 2012 Visit to Altwood School (Outreach)

(+) 12 Aug 2012 Perseid Meteor Watch

(+)  8 Mar 2012 Wanborough Cubs - (Outreach)

(+) 25 Feb 2012 Visit to Herstmonceux (Members)

(+) 21 Jan 2012 Stargazing LIVE 2012

(+)  2 Jul 2011 Pinkneys Green Scout Camp (Outreach)

(+) 12 Mar 2011 Telescope Workshop

(+)  8 Jan 2011 Stargazing LIVE 2011

(+)  3 Dec 2010 Christmas Lecture

(+) 12 Nov 2010 Jupiter Night

(+) 30 Oct 2010 Astronomy workshop at the Heritage Centre

(+) 15 May 2010 Visit to the Herschel Museum

(+) 15 Feb 2010 Photo Exhibition at Sainsbury

(+) 20 Nov 2009 IYA2009 Autumn Stargazing

(+) 14 Nov 2009 Astro weekend in South Wales

(+)  9 May 2009 Visit to National Space Centre

(+)  1 Apr 2009 IYA2009 Spring Moon Watch

(+) 28 Mar 2009 Coffee with the stars (Outreach)

(+) 10 Oct 2008 Astronomy night at Braywick

(+) 31 May 2008 Patrick Moore opens observatory

(+) 20 Apr 2008 O2 award

(+) 15 Mar 2008 Old Greenwich Observatory

(+) 13 Dec 2007 Geminid meteor watch at Braywick

(+) 30 Jun 2007 The lives of stars and people

(+)  8 Jun 2007 MAS 50th Anniversary Dinner

(+) 26 May 2007 Scouting 100 (Outreach)

(+) 13 May 2007 500th Meeting

(+)  1 May 2007 Exhibition at the Heritage Center

(+)  3 Mar 2007 Total Lunar Eclipse