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! WELCOME TO THE MAS WEB SITE !
- TBA -
Friday, 2nd February 2018 Talks by Members
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 :-) )
Friday, 1st September 2017
Gravity Waves (a recap by Martin Dyer)
Friday, 2nd February 2018
Talks by Members ( )
Friday, 6th October 2017
Observing the Sun (by MAS members)
Friday, 2nd March 2018
Jupiter and the Juno Mission (Dr John Rogers)
Friday, 3rd November 2017
Wonders of the Deep Sky (Callum Potter)
Friday, 6th April 2018
Berkshire Astronomers (Kenelm England FRAS)
Friday, 1st December 2017
Xmas Quiz and Social (Quiz Master Tim H)
Friday, 4th May 2018
TBA ( )
Friday, 5th January 2018
Telescope and Equipment workshop (Q and A with members)
Friday, 1st June 2018
MAS 61st AGM (and Photo Competition prizes)
Members :- Please log-in to the Members Only section for details of our next members only Event
Next Public Event
27 Jul 2018 Total Lunar Eclipse
Friday July 27 2018 - Total Lunar Eclipse
After the almost perfect seeing of the 2015, Sept. 28 eclipse we can hope for more good weather this time ! Unfortunately, from UK, the Moon will be below the horizon when the eclipse starts at 6:15pm.
At totality, 9:21pm, the Moon will be only 3.5 degrees above the horizon (you will need to be on a hill looking SE for a decent view) - and on these summer nights it still won't be very dark as totality ends at 10:13pm, so the 'blood moon' effect will be rather less striking than the 2015 event. The (partial) eclipse ends at 11:19pm so at least we will get to bed rather earlier this time !
This note last modified: 29th Sep 2015 11:31.
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)
22 Nov 2017 Cookham Dean CE Primary School - (Outreach)
Wednesday 22nd November Cookham Dean CE Primary School (Outreach)
Robin, Adrian, Andy & Steve
Report by Steve
I arrived at about 12.40pm to find Robin and Adrian already 'signed in' and inspecting the main Hall. This was deemed suitable for a 'full scale' string Solar System so we then retired to the classroom. After putting in our 'drinks orders' (coffee and tea :-) ) we were joined by Andy and then 'plotted' the running order. The decision was to go for Solar System + telescopes in the main Hall with Moon and telescopes / binoculars in the classroom. The students would thus be split into 2 groups with a 'switch over' at half time. Adrian and Andy would take the Moon, with myself and Robin doing the Solar System.
So Robin and I retired to the hall to prepare for the solar system layout. Whilst Robin was setting up this laptop (to show the 'Black Rock Desert' movie) the first half of 'Year 5' arrived, consisting of 13 pupils. I started with the usual 'name that planet' questions and, as usual, they were soon shooting up their hands before I had even finished asking !
Robin assisted with Planet placement, and, after a short Q&A, he handed around some meteor fragments (which I confess I had forgotten he had) for the students to inspect. After a short further Q&A he delivered a quick talk about his 2 telescopes on display (refractor and reflector).
The two groups then changed over and we ran through the questions again (this time I left the Asteroid Belt to last so it would 'link in' with Robin's meteor fragments). The second group (14) had a lot of questions about Black Holes, extra-solar planets and the 'Goldilocks zone' which took some time to answer, however we managed to keep to time well enough to show the Black Rock Desert movie at the end. We then all went back to the classroom where we were each presented with a small 'thank you' gift.
Apparently we so impressed the teacher that we are already being 'booked' again for next year ! After packing up we left at about 3.15pm and I was home before 3.30.
Report by Adrian
Having four members of the team, we were able to run two concurrent sessions during the afternoon. Steve and Robin covered the Solar System using Steve's scale string model set up in the school hall, whilst Andy and Adrian used one of the large classrooms to talk about the Moon. Each session was run twice for the two groups of 14 or so year 5 pupils. We also set up two telescopes in each location so there was an opportunity at the end of each session for students to get up close and learn about different types of telescope.
Andy and Adrian's talk demonstrated the changing phases of the Moon using a model of the Moon and a 'Sun' (bright spotlight). Adrian showed a short video showing the evolution of the Moon and how the craters and darker Maria regions were formed. There was a lively discussion about what features could be seen on the surface of the Moon and we showed pictures of craters, mountains, ray features, shadows and earth-shine. As on our previous visit, the pupils were already very knowledgeable - for example fully understanding the different appearances of waxing and waning phases - so much of what we covered was reinforcement and revision for them. There were plenty of questions, some of which took us into more advanced territory such as gravitational effects, satellites of other planets in the Solar System and even exoplanets.
Although cloud prevented us from setting up outdoors, the children were still very keen to look through a telescope indoors. It was an opportunity to explain the importance of light-grasp as well magnification. Adrian had set up a simple demonstration of how a telescope works, pointing a small refractor at the ceiling lights. It was soon directed at the trees outside with everyone wanting to have a look!
Andy showed the Society's Celestron 130 reflector, some binoculars plus a cardboard "build your own" telescope and kit. Several of the students were interested in where they could purchase the latter and were directed to the AstroMedia web site. The pupils enjoyed being able to handle and use the binoculars and cardboard telescope. This was followed by several interesting questions from a very knowledgeable group of children.
This note last modified: 23rd Nov 2017 11:52.
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