This page is being shown in PC (desktop) mode. If you are using a Smart Phone or Tablet, sorry, but our website did not detect your device. To manually switch to Tablet mode click here. YOU MUST RETURN here, the [Home page], to switch to desktop mode
! WELCOME TO THE MAS WEB SITE
(Note on General Data Protection Regs. moved here)
Members Annual Photo Competition 2023
Entries are now open for the 2023 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 Webmaster
MEMBERS see MAS LOGO Fleeces
Friday, 5th January 2024 Telescope Parade (to be confirmed)
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 :-) )
(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
TBA (speaker and topic to be confirmed)
Friday, 5th January 2024
Telescope Parade (to be confirmed)
Friday, 7th June 2024
MAS 67th AGM (Annual General Meeting)
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: 11th Apr 2016 17:06.
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)
6 Dec 2023 Bisham Brownies - (outreach)
Wednesday, 6th December 2023, Bisham Brownies (Outreach)
MAS team: MAS team: Steve, Robin, Andy, Adrian J. (lead). 21 brownies attended.
The MAS team arrived at about 5 pm and after a short wait for the earlier Rainbows meeting to finish, we started setting up, Steves Dobsonian being set up on the hard-standing at the back of the hall.
There was quite a lot of thin cloud and only Jupiter was visible, so we made a quick decision to adapt our plan and hedge our bets: we would send out the brownies in four groups, each group having about 10 minutes to look at Jupiter.
While each group took its turn outside, the rest of the team - supported by the pack leaders - kept those indoors entertained. Andy handed out his question and answer cards for the 'chain-question-and-answer' game which kept us going for most of the time. When we were running out of new question cards, Adrian took over with a quiz about the Solar System planets.
All the brownies were able to see Jupiter and its four bright moons, although conditions varied a little. At one point the high thin cloud did seem to thicken a little, however Jupiter remained visible. It was noted how attentive and very well behaved they all were, taking turns to look through the eyepiece.
When the whole pack was back indoors, Adrian gave a short slide show about the constellations and the brownies then worked on activity sheets to join the dots and draw the outlines of the Plough, Cassiopeia and Orion, assisted by Robin and Andy. Then they made pictures of constellations using black card and sticky stars and 'jewels'. A few chose real constellations but most used their imagination to invent their own, including the Heart, the Ice Cream and the Potato constellations !
The leaders closed the meeting with some announcements and thanks (plus small gifts!) to the team for the evening.
This note last modified: 8th Dec 2023 15:10.
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
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)
Mr B.Smith of Shottesbrooke
The Telegraph newspaper
exit to Oregon Scientific
exit to Telescope house