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  Members Annual Photo Competition 2022  

Postponed from 2020 due to Covid. Entries are now open for the 2022 competition. You have to be a member to enter. Further details on the Photo Competition page and in the Members section. If you have problems logging in, contact the Membership Sec. or Webmaster


  MEMBERS see MAS LOGO Fleeces  


  Next Months Meeting  

  Friday, 2nd December 2022    Xmas Social Photo Comp and Quiz    (set by members)  

We have now moved back to indoor meetings (starting with the September 2021 meeting). These 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  

(download printable guide PDF )

  Friday, 2nd September 2022

  InfraRed Astronomy   (Dr Eric Dunford)  

  Friday, 3rd February 2023

  The Galaxy without a dark side   (Barry Kellett)  

  Friday, 7th October 2022

  The Lunar 100   (Dr Lilian Hobbs)  

  Friday, 3rd March 2023

  TBA   ( )  

  Friday, 4th November 2022

  Exploration of Jupiter   (Dr Mike Legett)  

  Friday, 31st March 2023


  Friday, 2nd December 2022

  Xmas Social Photo Comp and Quiz   (set by members)  

  Friday, 5th May 2023

  Pioneers of spectroscopy   (Jack Martin)  

  Friday, 6th January 2023

  Telescope Parade   (by members)  

  Friday, 2nd June 2023

  MAS 66th AGM   (Annual General Meeting)  

(Table: http://www.maidenhead-astro.net/public/Home/index#2_bm)  

Members :- Please log-in to the Members Only section for details of our next members only Event


  Next 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 will be presenting at Maidenhead Library as part of the Maidenhead Big Read Festival. The Festival is due to take place between 1st and 10th of March with the theme of Outer Space. MAS will provide a team to talk to the public at Maidenhead Library over the weekend of 4 / 5 March. Further details will be added here closer to the event
This note last modified: 21st Sep 2022 22:44.
See our Events page for more information about all our Events
Click here for MAS Facebook page
Photo: Members of MAS gather to observe the transit of Mercury
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 !!!


  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)

21 Nov 2022 Cookgam Dean C of E School - (outreach)

21st November 2022 - C of E Primary School, Cookham Dean - Outreach
Andy (lead), Adrian J, Robin, Tony T, Steve (report by Steve)
This was a daytime event, starting after lunch at around 1:30 and running until 3pm. The hope was we might setup telescopes outside to see the Moon which was up during the day (Adrian and would have been a challenge, as the very thin crescent Moon was at 10 degrees elevation when we started and had set by the end of our session) and perhaps even show sun-spots (using solar-projection). However the forecast was poor and as I loaded the car it was already raining. The Cookham site is another with very limited parking, most having to remain on the verge of the lanes outside. However with my car full of telescope, screen, projector and 3 bags of solar system models, so I managed to blag the only spot inside the grounds and directly beside the main hall. Unloading in the by now somewhat heavier rain did not get me and the equipment as damp as it could have ! Andy and Robin took the classroom for their presentation whilst Tony, Adrian and I set up in the lunch hall. Fortunately it had a large screen and ceiling mounted projector, which, by some miracle, my laptop successfully interfaced to. The class was split into two, with one half getting Andy's and Robin's talk in the Classroom whilst the other did the Solar System in the Main hall. The two halves then switched over and we ran through the material again. Classroom - report by Andy Robin kicked off with a year 5 version of what can be seen in the sky. Andy followed this with a talk about why the illuminated part of our Moon changes shape during a lunar month. We then used a torch to illuminate a polystyrene Moon which was moved around the outside of the class to show the different moon phases. This does not work that well in a small classroom as the Moon is too close to the pupils who are on the Earth, in the middle. To give an idea of the true Earth Moon separation a small inflatable Earth, a beach ball, and a white juggling ball, a quarter of that size, were used to show the two bodies to scale. The Moon is about 10 Earth circumferences away from Earth, so a piece of string that long was unravelled between them to show their separation to scale. The pupil holding the moon was in the far corner of the room whilst Andy, holding the Earth, was outside the class in the corridor. Robin showed a wire supported Earth/Moon system with a torch Sun to project the Moon's shadow on Earth during an eclipse. Finally, the young astronomers drew the phases of the Moon on a worksheet provided by MAS. The same program was repeated for the second half of the class. Main hall - report by Steve Adrian started with his 'balloon sun' and 'choose an Earth to scale' task. With him at the front of the hall, the students then walked down the hall to stand with their chosen Earths at their chosen orbital distance. Whist one student did stand at the far end of the hall, no one chose the 'pin head' Earth, and all were most impressed when Adrian marched down the hall and out of the door into the playground, a total of 30 long paces away ! I then explained that to fit a model solar system into the hall we would have to 'squeeze down' the orbits. The students were split into 3 groups of 4 or 5 and given the scale sheet. They would choose balls from those provided to get the planets roughly to scale and then place them in the hall at the correct relative distances from the sun at the front, stage end, of the hall. After some assistance from myself, Adrian, Tony and the teacher all groups completed the task. I then ran the Black Rock Desert 'same scale' video on the screen. In this video, similar sized planets to those the students used are placed in the Black Rock Desert to form an 11 km wide scale solar system, no 'squeezing down' required ! We finished with a 3 group 'round robin' talk on telescopes, myself with the Newtonian Dob, the others with their tripod mounted small refractors. The two class groups then switched over and we ran it all again. At the end of the afternoon, as we packed up it was still raining. I waited whilst the parents picked up their children before one of the teachers was good enough to stand by the gates as I exited the grounds. When I got home, half way through unloading, the rain stopped !
This note last modified: 28th Nov 2022 12:42.



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  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).



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

Maidenhead Lions, Platinum Award (2022, celebrating the Queen's 70 years on the throne)
O2 goto our O2 award report page
Baylis Trust Cash-for-the-community
Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (Lottery Grant)
RBWM-Education Directorate
Mr B.Smith of Shottesbrooke
Mrs P.Haymes
The Telegraph newspaper
exit to Oregon Scientific
exit to Telescope house