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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, 3rd February 2017 Members short stories (speakers still needed = see Tim H)
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 and PhotoComp prizes)
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)
19 Dec 2016 Cookham Dean Primary School - (Outreach)
Monday, 19th December 2016 - Cookham Dean Primary School (Outreach)
Present: Robin, Adrian and Steve (report by Steve)
Robin visited the week before to check out the 'lay of the land' - and, as expected, found the school hall was 'fully booked' for pre-Christmas productions etc. and would not be available to us. However, the classroom for Year 5, 9-10 year olds, was somewhat larger than some, about 25 feet square, and would just accommodate a 'half sized' Solar System layout. He also checked out the classroom AV system (projector and screen) - using this would make it a lot easier for us as out own screen is rather large and awkward to transport.
As part of his 'reconnaissance' he also established that we would be able to use the Staff car park on the west side of the south site which was very convenient for access to the classroom = somehow the amount of equipment we have to carry seems to increase with every event !
Our 'booking' was for the Monday afternoon, straight after lunch, with a 13:15 start. The planned arrival time was 12:30-12:45 so we could set up whilst the classroom was empty and the kids on their lunch break. After school (from about 14:45), there was an option to join the school Carols (and an offer of mulled wine afterwards.
Since Andy was unable to attend, Adrian was kind enough to take over the Moon activities section, and both he and Robin must have arrived well before 12:30 as I arrived just after and found them already 'signed in' and partly unloaded.
The Staff car park turned out to be somewhat smaller than usual, with very little space and I ended up parked half in and half out the entrance ! Fortunately this seemed to be 'acceptable' for the moment, so I unloaded and started to set up. However it soon became apparent that blocking the entrance for the rest of the afternoon wasn't going to make me very popular so I moved the car onto the hard shoulder down the lane.
Robin and Adrian watched whilst Teacher Penny re-arranged the desks and chairs so all the students could see the screen. A line of desks was setup to separate the seating from the Solar System layout string (experience having shown that if access was possible someone would try to trip over it :-) ). After some assistance from one of the staff, Adrian soon had the school projector behaving and the AV system delivering sound, thus avoiding the need to set up our own beamer.
Soon the class was back from lunch - and I was pleased that a couple of the children recognised us from our Cubs/Beavers/Brownies events of the past. We had been expecting 30+ however with some 'off' I think the count was only 28.
Robin started with a quick Stellarium presentation of the night sky and how the visible stars changed during the year. He then handed over to Adrian who did the Moon formation (video) how the 'seas' and craters were formed and the phases of the Moon. With the help of Robins Earth/Moon model he showed how Solar Eclipses occurred.
Next up I delivered a quick Solar System quiz with Robin helping with the layout of the planets (half scale meaning 20 light minutes per division and requiring a bit of mental arithmetic). My replacement 'Asteroid Belt' (constructed at the weekend to replace the old one that had disappeared a few events ago) turned out to be rather too big for the half scale layout = something to be corrected before the next event !
To conclude our presentations, Robin and I did a quick 'telescope talk'. Once again we were amazed at the knowledge and insightful questions of the class = one student even asked about the use of coloured filters !
We then packed up ready to go and with the time just before 3pm, I decided to rush off home for a rather late lunch. However Robin and Adrian remained for the Carol Singing (and, no doubt, to further discuss a possible evening Stargazing session in the New Year when the hall would be available and telescopes could be sited across the road on the North site).
This note last modified: 20th Dec 2016 14:33.
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)|