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Dear MAS Friends
It is with great sadness that the Committee pass on the news that after a strong and determined battle with her illness Susan passed away on Thursday 20 September.

She will be greatly missed, not just as our chairman but as a friend to many.

As you will be aware Susan had been ill for some time but fought hard, remained positive and continued to support and lead the Society even whilst she was in hospital and receiving treatment. Most of us saw her last at the AGM in June where she showed her usual enthusiasm in leading the meeting and keeping the focus on the business of the Society.

The Committee and Members have all benefited, and will continue to do so, from Susan's strong leadership and dedication over the years. We will all miss her guidance and presence at future meetings and events.

She cared passionately about our Society.

Tim, Kristina and Lesley
On behalf of the Committee


  MEMBERS see General Data Protection Regulations  

Annual Photo Compitition 2019. You have to be a member to enter. Next closing date 6th May 2019. Further details in the Members section. If you have problems logging in, contact the Membership Sec. or Webmaster


  Next Months Meeting  

  Thursday, 6th December 2018    Christmas Quiz and Social  

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, 7th September 2018

  13 Journeys through space and Time   (Postponed new date TBA)  

  Friday, 1st February 2019

  Ask the expert   (members panel)  

  Friday, 5th October 2018

  The Future is out of this World   ( Dr Stuart Eves FRAS)  

  Friday, 1st March 2019

  The Extremely Large Telescope (ELT)   (Dr. Aprajita Verma)  

  Friday, 2nd November 2018

  Short talks   (by members)  

  Friday, 5th April 2019

  Space Weather   (Dr Colin Forsyth)  

  Thursday, 6th December 2018

  Christmas Quiz and Social   ( )  

  Friday, 3rd May 2019

  To be announced   ( )  

  Friday, 4th January 2019

  Equipment exhibition   ( )  

  Friday, 7th June 2019

  MAS 61st AGM   ( )  

(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  

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

11 November 2019: Transit of Mercury, start 12:35, mid 15:19, ends 16:015 (all times for Reading) Like Transits of Venus, these occur in pairs, this being the second of the 2016/19 pair. Although Transits of Mercury are less rare than a transit of Venus, the next Mercury pair will not be until 2032/39 (see wikipedia). For more on this transit, visit the time and date website
This note last modified: 27th Feb 2016 11:09.
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)

7 Nov 2018 Furze Platt Cubs (Outreach)

Wednesday, 7th November - Furze Platt Cubs Outreach team:  Robin, Steve and Adrian
Report by Adrian
The purpose of our visit was to help the cubs towards earning their Astronomy Activity badges, and to inspire them to follow up with their own astronomy activities. The team arrived at the Furze Platt Scout HQ building at 6.15-6.30 pm and soon had our equipment and props set up and ready. Welcome teas and coffees were provided. We were expecting at least 20 cubs so had arranged to use the rooms on both floors of the building, splitting the cubs into two groups for some of the sessions. After introductions, Robin started the evening with a short presentation to the whole cub pack, describing things that can be seen in the night sky with the naked eye: the Moon, stars, planets, meteors etc. and in particular, what they could look out for on their forthcoming night hikes.  Robin then moved on to some of the easy to identify constellations, showing the cubs the shapes of The Plough, Cassiopeia and Orion. The cubs then split into two groups, one going downstairs for a team quiz on the planets and Solar System run by quiz-master Steve. Steve: Having laid the Solar System planet models out along the rear of the hall, I started with a quick explanation of the relative size and distance scales. Paper and pencils were handed out to each of the cubs who were asked to put their name at the top. A total of 10 questions were set from a set of 20 or so pre-prepared by Adrian. I stuck to the simpler ones since there were quite a few younger cubs. Cubs then marked their own papers and I was pleased to say there were a few 100% correct in each group ! Since we had some extra time with the second group I then delivered a very quick explanation of how my Newtonian (Dobsonian) telescope worked The other group stayed upstairs, where Adrian and Robin gave a demonstration of how the Earth moves around the Sun (using an Earth globe and flashlight), and how the tilt of the Earth’s axis gives rise to the seasons. There was lively discussion about why we don’t feel the rotation of the Earth (1000 mph at the equator) or the movement of the Earth in its orbit around the Sun (67,000 mph!) A brief Q & A about the differences between stars and planets followed and the session was concluded with a discussion of the dangers of looking at the Sun and a demonstration of how to do it safely. The groups then swapped over and we reran the quiz and Sun-Earth sessions. At the end of the evening, the whole cub pack reassembled and completed ‘join the dots’ quiz sheets to identify familiar constellation shapes. The leaders then closed off the evening with an energetic game for the cubs and the usual formalities. They and the helpers expressed their thanks to us for an interesting evening. As usual, the cubs were amazingly knowledgeable and enthusiastic!
This note last modified: 8th Nov 2018 16:51.



For the latest news, follow us on Twitter (javascript must be enabled for the 'button' below to work). Our latest Twitter postings can be seen on the Observing page

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We now have our own Facebook page !

exit to: Maidenhead Astronomical Society on Facebook

Maidenhead Astronomical Society


  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

O2 (award report)
exit to Cash-for-the-community (Baylis Trust)
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