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Annual Photo Compitition 2020. Entries are now open for the 2020 compitition, winners will be announced at the AGM. You have to be a member to enter. Next closing date May 2020. Further details in the Members section. If you have problems logging in, contact the Membership Sec. or Webmaster
Friday, 1st November 2019 The Origin of the Solar System (James Fradgley)
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 :-) )
(download printable guide PDF )
Friday, 6th September 2019
History of Mars Exploration (Jim House)
Friday, 7th February 2020
Ask an expert Q and A panel (By Members)
Friday, 4th October 2019
Kew Observatory and the origins of modern solar physics (Dr Lee Macdonald)
Friday, 6th March 2020
TBA ( )
Friday, 1st November 2019
The Origin of the Solar System (James Fradgley)
Friday, 3rd April 2020
TBA ( )
Friday, 6th December 2019
Xmas Quiz and social (By members)
Friday, 1st May 2020
TBA ( )
Friday, 3rd January 2020
Equipment Parade (By members)
Friday, 5th June 2020
MAS 62nd AGM ( )
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
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)
10 Oct 2019 Holy Trinity School yr3 - (Outreach)
Thursday, 10 Oct 2019 - Holy Trinity School Cookham Yr 3, Outreach
Team: Andy, Robin, Steve (report by Steve)
We arrived at about 1pm for a 1:30 start. Having been to this venue before, I was determined to arrive early to grab the very limited parking space, however I failed to keep an eye on the clock and managed to arrive 5 minute late ! Fortunately it was possible to squeeze my car on without blocking more than one other.
Unlike our previous visits, it was obvious that no outside Sun projetion demonstartion was going to be possible and in any event we had managed to bag the main hall. So we unloaded near the rear entrance which was closer to the car park, whilst waiting for the lunch-time tables to be cleared away.
The main hall had a very good screen and projector system and Robin was able to connect straight up with no problem. On checking with the others in the team I learned that we would be presenting to some 30 students in single session and had up until 3pm. This would allow plenty of time for a good Q & A, something that often has to be skipped due to lack of time.
At about 1:40 the class arrived, initially 26 with two of three others expected to join after the first 10 minutes or so. Robin suggested waiting for the latecomers but was encouraged to start before loosing the students attention ! He mentioned that one of us was an ex-teacher and asked them to guess who during the talks.
With the help of Stellarium he went over the finding north and identifying some of the constellations. At the end of the presentation, as 3 or 4 students were called out for a short time, he took questions. Then with the focus on the Moon, he handed over to Andy.
Andy was soon explaining how the phases of the Moon occurs, with the students forming a circle around his blow-up Earth and Robin moving his spotlight lamp as the sun. At the end, Robin brought out his moon / earth eclipse model and I assisted with the torch as he explained how the Moons shadow causes a solar ellipse.
I then did the Solar System Q and A. Andy helped by awarding a 'well done' sticker to those who correctly identified the planets. This allowed me to focus on those who had not yet answered a question. Each winner then placed the planet in the correct position with Robins assistance. This was followed by another Q&A with some searching questions such as 'why don't you fall back to earth when you step out of your space craft ?' and 'how long would you live without a space suit ?'.
After this Robin led the telescope explanation and we finished with a final Q&A session, ending just on the hour at 3:00 pm. The final task was to reveal who the ex-teacher was. I'm not sure if I was pleased that some identified myself, however Andy confessed much to some amazement ! Andy handed out some small awards = pencils, erasers, sharpeners and the red Tribbles - as the class left.
I felt that the time was about ideal as it allowed a lot more questions than normal and we never felt the need to hurry the students along.
We quickly packed up to clear the hall but then had to wait whilst the path was cleared of parents picking up their offspring. With the good weather, however, this was not a problem.
This note last modified: 13th Oct 2019 09:27.
If the fancy Twitter button doesn't appear above, you can exit to Twitter using this old fashioned URL link :-)
We now have our own Facebook page !
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
Mr B.Smith of Shottesbrooke
The Telegraph newspaper
exit to Oregon Scientific
exit to Telescope house