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Random tip: Only binoculars beat a Dobsonian in overall set up time.LookingUp logo
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  MEMBERS click for BAA Membership changes  


  Members Annual Photo Competition 2024  

Entries are now open for the 2024 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 WebAdmin


  MEMBERS see also MAS LOGO Fleeces  


  Next Months Meeting  

  Friday, 7th June 2024    MAS 67th AGM    (Annual General Meeting)  

Our 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  

(download printable guide PDF )

  Friday, 1st September 2023

  The Changing Climate of Mars   (Peter Read)  

  Friday, 2nd February 2024

  The Mechanics of Eclipses   (Sheridan Williams FRAS)  

  Friday, 6th October 2023

  Solar Space Weather SOHO   (Dr Eric Dunford)  

  Friday, 1st March 2024

  Water in the Universe   (Prof Jonathan Tennyson)  

  Friday, 3rd November 2023

  Binary Pulsars Einsteins Perfect Laboratories   (Barry Kellett)  

  Friday, 5th April 2024

  The Visible Universe   (Doctor Max Whitby)  

  Friday, 1st December 2023

  SPECIAL FEATURE Herschels Lunatick Friends   (Andrew Lound)  

  Friday, 3rd May 2024

  The Exploration of Venus   (Jim House)  

  Friday, 5th January 2024

  Telescope Parade   (and the Parker Solar Probe by Arthur White)  

  Friday, 7th June 2024

  MAS 67th 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  

7 Mar 2025 (and 22) Major Lunar Standstill

March 7 & 22, 2025 A 'Major Lunar Standstill' is when the range of the declination of the Moon reaches a maximum (of almost 60 degrees). As a result, at high latitudes, the Moon's greatest altitude (at culmination, when it crosses the meridian) changes in just two weeks from high in the sky to low over the horizon. They occur every 18.6 years as a consequence of the (18.6 year) period in the precession of the Moon's orbital nodes. Note also that the greatest extremes always occur near the equinoxes. The last was in 2006, the next in 2025, here's a few more dates (Dec = declanation, as in RA/Dec) :- Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) Year          Minimum        Dec ()         Maximum      Dec () 2006        Mar 22  16:53   -28.725       Sep 15  01:28    28.725 2025        Mar 22  06:47   -28.719       Mar  7  15:56    28.710 2043        Sep 12  11:52   -28.703       Sep 25  14:42    28.712 2062        Mar 31  23:35   -28.700       Mar 18  10:23    28.705 2080        Sep 21  02:33   -28.695       Oct  5  09:52    28.682 2099        Sep 21  11:16   -28.686       Mar 29  02:46    28.678
For more information, see Wikipedia, Lunar standstill and U.Mass. Sunwheel
This note last modified: 23rd Mar 2016 06:57.
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)

2 May 2024 Newlands Girls School - (outreach)

2024, May 2, Friday - Newlands Girls' School - Outreach
MAS team: Steve B, Robin O, Adrian J (lead) Report by Adrian
This short session was run after school for the Year13 A-level Physics class at Newlands. The school asked us to help the students revise for the astronomy section of their upcoming exams, with particular emphasis on telescope topics that are part of the A-level curriculum. The school had helpfully reserved two parking spaces near the entrance to allow Robin and Steve to unload the telescopes they had brought and we were soon signed in and set up in a large classroom in good time for the after-school session. The weather was cloudy so we were unable to do solar viewing outside and the telescopes were set up inside. Adrian started with a presentation about telescope design, describing how the various aberrations are corrected and discussing the merits of modern large reflectors compared to the large refractors of an earlier era. Robin and Steve then demonstrated their telescopes to the students in two groups, so the students had an opportunity to see close-up several different configurations: Steve's Newtonian Dob. and Robin's SCT and his historically-interesting antique refractor. Adrian then finished off the session with a short talk about telescope resolution and the great advantages of modern digital cameras compared to visual observation for scientific studies.
This note last modified: 5th May 2024 16:49.



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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

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