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! 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, 9th December 2016 (note 2nd Friday) Christmas Quiz (and members shorts)
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
Members short stories (speakers still needed = see Tim H)
Friday, 7th October 2016
Astro tourism (David Phillips)
Friday, 3rd March 2017
Pseudoastronomy (Stephen Tonkin)
Friday, 4th November 2016
Observing Planetary Nebulae (Owen Brazell)
Friday, 7th April 2017
TBA ( )
Friday, 9th December 2016
(note 2nd Friday) 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)
25 Nov 2016 Bayfordbury Observatory - (members visit)
25th November 2016 - Bayfordbury Observatory (members visit)
Present: Andy T. (organiser), Steve & Georgina, Robin & Marilyn, Yvonne and John, Alan C., Jo K., Kristina, Greg S., Jim H., Dave H. (Report by Steve)
Andy organised a visit to Bayfordbury Observatory for members. We made out own way their (some sharing cars) and, despite the Friday evening traffic all (but 2) manged to arrive by 7pm. We gathered in the canteen area where some of us (including me) tucked into some sandwiches (the site being miles from anywhere so no near-by pub to look forward to afterwards).
Our host, Tina, a PhD student, reminded us that the tour was scheduled to start at 7.15 and duly ushered us up to one of the lecture theatres. We were treated to an interesting illustrated talk on the classification and evolution of Galaxies which included details of her own work on Galaxy mergers in proto-clusters V's non-clusters. We then had the unexpected treat of a Planetarium talk where (I'll be honest) the technology of the 'beamer' received more of my attention than the stellar objects being shown.
Next it was on to the actual domes. Since it was perfect viewing weather, all five of the fully automated optical telescopes (14-16" Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes) were in use by research students, however they did have one 20" Cassegrain reflector (the Marsh telescope, seen here) on a modified English mount that was still fitted with an actual eyepiece we could look through !
On the way to the domes we admired their radio telescope dishes and noted a bright green laser was being emitted from one dome (this turned out to be an atmospheric pollution measurement experiment and not a variable geometry mirror guide beam :-) ). We split into two groups since the remote controlled telescope domes had to be kept dark and could only safely take a few of us at once. I joined the group that started in the 20" dome where I was amazed to see it had a 6" refractor as a 'finder scope' that was bigger than about anything we have at MAS ! The 6" finder even had a smaller (2" ?) 'finder-finder' fitted to it :-). We had some difficulty with the 'direction finding' system (which I noted used Stellarium as part of the process :-) ) and ended up 'pointing' the telescope manually, which, despite it's 4 ton weight was so well balanced that one person could easily adjust it's position.
The two groups 'switched over' and I had a chance to look into the dome housing one of the automated telescopes. Whilst the mounting was not quite as impressive as the 20", the pillar and 'wedge' made the 16" Meade look quite small ! Whilst we were inside the dome the telescope switched 'targets' quite fast but with only half-a-dozen of us inside it was easy to keep well out of the way. Soon it was back to the 20" dome which was large enough for us all to fit inside.
We attempted to line up on the Pleiades, however I'm not sure how successful we were, since, although I could see stars in the 'finder', none looked very 'blue' :-) All too soon we had to make our way back to the center where Robin and Dave took a few photos.
This note last modified: 29th Nov 2016 10:36.
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)|