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 laser pointer at an outreach event. Children under the age of 18 and non-approved adults are not permitted 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).
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)
Details of future planned events are limited to those open to the general public (Members should look in the Members Only section for details of future events not open to the public - which includes most of our local Outreach activities (schools, cubs, brownies etc)).
Future events are listed in date order, next planned first. Be aware that events can change (usually due to the weather :-) ) so please check nearer the event before making a journey
Note. MAS holds Public Liability Insurance via our membership of Federation of Astronomical Societies. The Policy Document for 2022-23 (pdf) is available on request (it can be found in the Members section)
(+) 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
(+) 13 Nov 2032 Transit of Mercury
(+) 7 Nov 2039 Transit of Mercury - (2nd of pair)
(+) 28 Jul 2061 Halleys Comet returns
(+) 23 Sep 2090 Total Solar Eclipse - (the next visible from UK)
Reports from our Outreach & Event activity
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
(+) 6 Feb 2024 7th Windsor Brownies - (outreach)
(+) 15 Jan 2024 Cookham Dean Primary School - (outreach)
(+) 12 Jan 2024 1st Cippenham Cubs - (outreach)
(+) 6 Dec 2023 Bisham Brownies - (outreach)
(+) 22 Nov 2023 Furze Platt Cubs (2nd pack) - (outreach)
(+) 21 Nov 2023 Furze Platt Cubs (1st pack) - (outreach)
(+) 10 Nov 2023 Trinity St Stephans School - (outreach)
(+) 2 Sep 2023 Cookham Regatta
(+) 19 Apr 2023 Newlands School - (outreach)
(+) 18 Mar 2023 Highfield Prep School Look to the Stars - (Public Event)
(-) 4 Mar 2023 Maidenhead Big Read - (Maidenhaed Library)
2023 March 4/5 (Saturday / Sunday) - Maidenhead Big Read Festival (BRF) at Maidenhead Library
MAS supported the Maidenhead Big Read Festival on the weekend of 4 / 5 March, taking over much of the Reference section on the upper level.
The plan was to set up outside on the flat roofs and show the sun (using Solar Projection and the society Solarscope) however 100% cloud for the entre weekend prevented this approach.
Instead telescopes were setup inside. Robins refractor was able to focus on targets inside the library, however the reflectors could not focus on anything so close. Instead they were focussed on the railway gantries and flower boxes of the flats in buildings across the street.
The weekend was split into 4 shifts, with Andy coordinating the members attendance.
I turned up at 9am before the Library opened and parked temporarily at the front of the building. After I unloaded the kit onto the pavement my partner drove the car away, both to allow others to deliver kit and because parking restrictions in the town centre prevent all day parking.
Photo right, showing view from main door and MAS banner at base of stairs
With the assistance of one of the Big Read volunteer staff, my the kit was soon upstairs.
The plan was for the Solar System model to be laid out at the back of the area, well behind Arthur's 'scale of suns in our galaxy' display boards, however I felt it would not be visible or discovered there. Instead we successfully negotiated with the Library staff to allow a layout at the front.
Photo left, from Neptune looking back towards the orange 'slice of sun' (click on photo & zoom up to see Saturn, Jupiter and the inner planets all on the far table)
Then it was back to the telescopes area to show off my Dob. Of course it became very busy at lunch time with queues forming to look through the telescopes, which meant I was only able to sneak off for a Pub lunch at around 2 pm.
The afternoon was quieter, however we did get the Maidenhead Advertiser reporter/photographer turn up to take some pictures.
I was manning my refractor, set up for safe solar viewing with a screen. I had to improvise the sun by using a small torch placed on top of a partition. The screen showed quite a good image of the torch !
I also looked after the solar scope, which was quite unable to show anything with the ten tenths cloud cover.
Lots of people came to find out what was happening. They seemed to arrive in waves, meaning I had difficulty taking in any food !
Most people seemed happy with what they found.
I was overseeing my SCT all day and got numerous visitors, all very interested in the scope. With nothing to look at sky wise, I selected a target on the rail line some way distant and showed the relationship between a finder scope and the main scope.
Lots of interesting questions and all seemed to enjoy getting a look through an astronomical telescope.
I was busy encouraging Key Stage 3 and below, maximum age 14, children to enter our competition. The prize was a mini Newtony Telescope. A total of 22 entries were received with 12 of them scoring 21 or more out of a possible total mark of 27.
A demonstration with an inflatable Earth, about the size of a football, a juggling ball Moon, to the same scale, and a reel of string was well received. The moon is approximately 10 Earth circumferences from our home and the string was 10 inflatable Earth circumferences long. Youngsters were asked to estimate the scale distance between Earth and Moon. The average guess was around 30cm. They were then given the Moon and one end of the string and asked to walk away from Andy who was holding the Earth and a tube with the uncoiling string. Onlookers and the Moon holders were amazed to see how far the Moon was from Earth, which was nearly 8.0 meter in this model. Other demonstrations were available and free Science learning resources from the Institute of Physics were given to parents to use with their children.
I noted that Arthur with his range of colourful posters that showed the relative sizes of bodies in the Solar System and our Galaxy was kept very busy explaining what they showed and answering a range of excellent questions.
It was a great event and very enjoyable with lots children + parents coming to view the posters. I logged that over 2 days Sat+Sunday there was some 30+ boys and some 31+ girls, with a collective average age of around 6+. I was kept too busy to monitor everyone.
We had a local counsellor who visited and expressed high level of interest in Solar Flares etc. I found it very rewarding explaining this and all the aspect of the posters not just to the children but too the many parents as well.
On the Thursday of the week after the event (March 9th) the Maidenhead Advertiser published a two page spread (pages 18/19) with many photos. Robin and Arthur were featured (Arthur twice !) however whilst my Dobsonian appeared, I did not make the cut.
This note last modified: 16th Mar 2023 10:23.