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, 2nd September 2016 Rosetta Space Mission (Andrew Morse)
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
TBA ( )
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)
11 Aug 2016 Perseid meteor watch - (Ockwells Park)
Thursday, 11th August 2016, 8.30pm - 3am, Perseids meteor watch at Ockwells Park
Photo by George B (the meteors are the faint 'up and down' streaks - everything else is star trails :-) )
Report by Steve
The weather forecast was for 30% cloud at 9pm clearing by midnight. When I arrived at about 8.30, the cloud was closer to 60% but plainly starting to clear. Half a dozen or so members were already set up, including Percy with his telescope focused on Mars and Tim with a wide-angle lens camera. Over the next half hour our numbers doubled and the cloud started to clear from the West.
I positioned myself looking East to North and by 9.30pm was rewarded with my first Perseid ! From then until about 11pm I saw another half dozen or so, after which they came quick and fast until by 00.30 I had reached a total of 25 = more in one night than all I had seen this past year ! With the clouds starting to cover the sky from the South and West and the wind getting colder I joined the rush for the exit, however at least half the members decided to stay on to the early hours.
Report by Percy
My thanks to the following members who attended the event:- Tim, Bob, Kailash, Peter, Steve, Susan, Des, Hugh, Vic, David M and guest, Alan, Joanna and me !
If I have missed out anyone, sincere apologies, I know members were still arriving at 22:00hrs (those members who could not make it may want to attend the other meteor watches during winter i.e., Geminids and Leonids).
The sky was very promising indeed. Lots of the members were prepared with their garden loungers, deck-chairs and binoculars. Before it became truly dark, the Moon, Mars and Saturn were on display for scrutiny through our scopes.
Later quite a few cameras were recording the night sky trying to catch any fleeting meteor. Tim and Des were recording the night sky with their wide angle lenses and DSLR (I can't wait to see their results = Ed. scroll down for some of Tom's at the end of this report)
Bob had brought along his 70mm Televue Pronto. We were treated to some lovely wide field views through this lovely instrument. I had my 6" AP refractor, mounted on a Skywatcher alt-az T-mount. Through my scope, we managed to view some of the old favourite night-sky objects; M13, Andromeda galaxy, Dumbbell nebula, the Coat Hanger, the Owl cluster, the Double cluster, the Ring nebula, M81/M82 galaxies in Ursa Major and a few other objects.
We also manged some nice views of the Moon, Saturn and Mars. Some easy double stars were also observed; epsilon 1 and 2 in lyrae, Albirieo in Cygnus, Gamma andromeda, Alcor and Mizar in Ursa Major and Izar in Bootes.
Lots of meteors were observed by the MAS members. We had some trail blazing ones, short faint ones, long faint ones, bright ones, faint ones and in-between ones. The magnitude ranged from around mag 4 to mag -2 in the west by the planets. Whilst looking through my scope, I felt the heat on the back of my neck from one of the bright meteors, LOL not really !
It seemed that we were quite fortunate with the weather, we observed till about 01:00hrs. Everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves, I surely did.
Thank you to all who made this event a memorable one.
Report (and photos) by Tim
A great night for the Perseids !
At Ockwells from 2204 to 0300Hrs I took 425 images of 30s exposure, and captured 12 meteors (and lot more aircraft and satellites)
We left Ockwells at 0030 BST, however at home, in the last 45 min, I set the camera to take another 99 exposures of 35sec each, and bagged 3 more
Overall, this was the best night's meteor observing since the year 2000 !
Camera: Canon 7D with Medium size jpg 3.1 Mpx using Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 lens, set at 11mm F3.2/ Focused on the Moon, then set to manual. Set ISO 800, Exposure 30sec and 5 sec delay. Tripod mounted Hahnel GigaT Pro with wireless remote control
This note last modified: 25th Aug 2016 21:55.
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)|