Note. If the site has difficulties detecting your smart phone / tablet etc. you can click here to switch into tablet mode. YOU MUST RETURN TO THIS PAGE to switch back to desktop mode
(Note, this site was hijacked by hackers last year and may not be quite 'back to normal - for more details, see here)
! WELCOME TO THE MAS WEB SITE !
See our Events page for more information on our past (and future) Events.
Monday, 9 May 2016: Transit of Mercury, members of MAS gathered in Ockwells Park to show the Transit to the public. For more details, see report on Events page
WARNING: never look at the Sun through a normal telescope !!
Doing so, WILL BLIND YOU !!!
The MAS Members 2017 Photo Competition starts now. To enter, send your photo, with information (date taken etc.) to the Chairman (and specify category, our Sun/Moon, Planet/other Solar System, Deep Sky, Local or International). Closing date is the May 2017 meeting, judging will be external and prizes awarded at the AGM in June.
Friday, 7th October 2016 Astro tourism (David Phillips)
All our indoor meetings run from 7.30 to 10pm in the Church Hall, St James-the-Less, Stubbings, Maidenhead, SL6 6QW (for directions, see our About & Contact page)
Meetings are normally on the first Friday of the month, September to June. There are no indoor meetings in July or August (unless indicated)
Beginners and visitors are always welcome at our indoor meetings (you don't have to join, however a £2 contribution toward the costs of the hall hire would be most welcome !)
To contact the society between meetings, please complete the on-line General Enquiry form
If you would like to receive, by email, advanced notification of our free public events, or you would like further information about the Society please use the Enquiry form mentioned above - or just turn up at any meeting and speak to any member of the Committee.
We also have a page on the Maidenhead Arts Council web site (where you will find details of other local clubs and societies if, for some inexplicable reason, Astronomy fails to fire your imagination and seize your interest :-) )
This seasons meetings
Friday, 2nd September 2016
Rosetta Space Mission (Andrew Morse)
Friday, 3rd February 2017
TBA ( )
Friday, 7th October 2016
Astro tourism (David Phillips)
Friday, 3rd March 2017
Pseudoastronomy (Stephen Tonkin)
Friday, 4th November 2016
Observing Planetaty nebulae (Owen Brazell)
Friday, 7th April 2017
TBA ( )
Friday, 2nd December 2016
Christmas Quiz (and members shorts)
Friday, 5th May 2017
TBA ( )
Friday, 6th January 2017
Telescope Parade (exhibition by members)
Friday, 2nd June 2017
MAS 60th AGM (agm)
Next Public Event
21 Aug 2017 Solar Eclipse - (partial from UK)
21 Aug 2017, 19-40-20:10 (sunset), a total Solar Eclipse, only partially visible (4%) from UK, and then only just before sunset. Max. 4% at 20:04 (from London) before sunset at 20:10.
The total eclipse will be visible from much of the USA.
To see the total eclipse, you must be on the 'red line' (other areas will see only a partial eclipse)
For more details, visit the 'time and date' site
This note last modified: 27th Feb 2016 10:58.
Members :- Please log-in to the Members Only section for details of our next members only Event
Most recent Event Report
Details of all our planned and past activities can be found on the Events pages.
Note that Outreach events are not usually open to the public, so are reported here only AFTER the event (Members can see planned Outreach dates in the Members Only section, Activity planning pages)
10 Sep 2016 Pinkneys Scout Camp - (Outreach)
10th Sept. 2016 - Outreach at the Pinkneys Green Group 2016 Camp
Present: Andy, Tim, Petar, Robin, Peter N, Steve
Report by Steve :
Our first Outreach of the 2016/7 season and (of course) the forecast was for rain, and did it rain ? = of course it did, almost the entire day :-(
The Pinkneys Green camp ran from 2pm Friday to 3.30pm Sunday with our 'slot' on the Saturday from 10am-1pm. Despite some mix-up over the location of the camp site a week before the event, we all managed to find the field without too much difficulty. I was the first to arrive at the bottom of the field and spot the tents in the distance. Whilst there was an area set aside for 'parents parking' I noticed the gate was open and decided to drive straight through (no way was I walking kit hundreds of yards up the field :-) ).
I aimed for the large marquees arranged in a row on the far right where at least one other car was parked. Lucky the first person I asked was able to confirm we were due to setup in the center tent - and there was even an 'emergency exit' to give access directly from the rear of the tent to where I parked. Just as I was starting to unload Robin (with Andy) and Petar drove up - and as we were almost finished Tim arrived clutching his 'demo' telescope (and a few other items) having parked at the bottom of the field and walked on up !
Soon we had the MAS banner up (waving in the wind and rain), whilst Tim bravely setup his small scope in the 'doorway' and Andy added his binoculars where they proved to be a firm favourite with the Beavers and Cubs who couldn't resist looking through them.
We had the left hand side of the tent to ourselves along with 2 tables, the power outlets and, perhaps more important, the tea urn !
I quickly set-up one of our publicity board stands to 'mark off' our 'territory' (the Red Cross had the other half for a hands on resuscitation class - you can see the pink dummies in the photo, right).
Robin set up to the right of the boards, I put myself on the corner, then Andy took the table next to me with his 'cardboard cut-out' telescope line-up.
Tim setup his laptop (with a photo-slide show) and his star charts on the table along the 'end wall' of the tent (next to the Tea Urn !). The solar scope was placed in the center (see photo below) where it could be quickly repositioned to view the Sun (if it ever came out). Peter N arrived to help out with the 'questions and answers' at about this time.
All set up and 'ready to roll' !
The first group of about a dozen Beavers/Cubs and 'leaders' soon arrived and we split them into 5 'sets' of 2-3 the idea being to 'rotate' the sets after 10 minutes or so on each telescope/stand position. Of course moving them proved to be a nightmare of co-ordination - and it didn't take us long to realise that with at least two more Beaver/Cub groups to come we would each have to do the same talk 15 times over !
In any event, I had only seen 3 or perhaps 4 sets before the 'whistle was blown' and the whole group had to move on. Even so the children were reluctant leave, having a great time peering through eyepieces (despite the fact that there was little to see except the trees dripping at the end of the field).
We had a short rest when the organisers held a 'tea break' (at about 11.20 am) and I grabbed a chance to find my lunch roll (I was still chewing when the next group arrived :-) ).
At 1pm 'lunch' was called for the camp. Given the continuing rain, we checked with the organisers in case they wanted us to stay for the afternoon (to provide then campers with 'something to do') however they decided we could escape after a #job well done' ! So we packed up and were away by 1.30pm.
Report by Tim :-
The PG group is very active, and a good well organised bunch. Troop and parents were interested in our telescope display area, and I overheard one parent say he had been looking forward to the astronomy show. I made a clay model (the activity in the adjoining marquee) and called it 29P - two lumps stuck together ! I also asked for a preview of the surveying equipment in the far tent - very interesting (when it was not raining).
All in all I felt it a very worth while outreach activity, rather similar to the event we attended there a few years ago on 2 July 2011 (Ed. when we were lucky to have significantly better weather ! ) - see the Report further down this web page.
MAS would like to give a big thank you to the PG organisers for tea and bickies !
Please invite us again next time...
This note last modified: 11th Sep 2016 19:02.
We now have our own Facebook page !
Robotic Telescopes (MAS Links page)
Where we meet (MAS About page)
'Frequently Asked Questions' (FAQ, MAS Beginners page)
exit to: Maidenhead Arts Council (MADAC) MAS web page
exit to: Tim's list of Asteroid Occultation observation opportunities
exit to: European Asteroidal Occultation Network
exit to: Space Weather
exit to: Heavens-Above - times of everything passing overhead, especially ISS, satellites and Iridium flares
exit to: The Astronomer on-line - magazine for the advanced amateur
exit to: BAA (British Astronomical Association)
exit to: SPA (Society for Popular Astronomy) - especially suitable for younger stargazers !
Benefactors and supporters
O2 (award report)
exit to Cash-for-the-community (Baylis Trust)
Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Lottery grant
Mr B.Smith of Shottesbrooke
The Telegraph newspaper
exit to Oregon Scientific
exit to Telescope house
Members = if your 'just uploaded' photo does not appear here, make sure it has a 'normal' sized thumbnail (and don't forget to re-visit the Members Home page and click 'update public site with my latest images' !)
Above: Comet Catalina 2013 returns ! First image (above) was by GeorgeB on 1st January. TimH spotted the comet on the morning of the 4th in Bootes between 4 and 5.30am and reports as follows :- Visible in 10x50 Bins at magnitude 6. It appears as a small fuzzy blob. No tail, but there is a hint of one in images with a 200mm lens ( 4 x 90s stack). There was a small amount of haze and cloud, but not serious. There is also a thin Moon, but this will gone now for 2 weeks. Report by: Tim H. Photo by: George B.
|ObsTransitofMercury (9 May 2016)||11 08 39 590 alun sunspot (13 Apr 2016)||IMG (1 Jan 2016)|
|1488 (24 Oct 2015)||MAS Members at Ockwells (20 Mar 2015)||MAS Members at Ockwells (20 Mar 2015)|