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Random tip: When I was shown the constellations, it all began to make sense.

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See our Events page for more information on our past (and future) Events.
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Photo: Members of MAS gather to observe the ransit 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 !!!

Members announcement:
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.


  Next Meeting  

  Friday, 4th November 2016    Observing Planetaty nebulae    (Owen Brazell)  

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

  TBA   ( )  

  Friday, 7th October 2016

  Astro tourism   (David Phillips)  

  Friday, 3rd March 2017

  Pseudoastronomy   (Stephen Tonkin)  

  Friday, 4th November 2016

  Observing Planetaty nebulae   (Owen Brazell)  

  Friday, 7th April 2017

  TBA   ( )  

  Friday, 2nd December 2016

  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)  

(Table: http://www.maidenhead-astro.net/public/Home/index#2_bm)  


  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.
Photo: ../Events/photos/2017-08-21_Solar-Eclipse.png
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)

21 Oct 2016 Lowbrook Academy Science Week - (Outreach)

21st Oct. 2016 - Outreach for Science Week at Lowbrook Academy (year 2)
Present: Adrian, Robin, Steve
Report by Steve :- Our second event during Science Week, this time an early morning one (well, early for me :-) ) With Andy unavailable, Adrian was good enough to 'step up' and take on the Moon phases demo. With Robin handling the planning, all I had to do was 'get up at the crack of dawn', load the car and arrive in time for the 8.30 setup ! On arrival I discovered Robin had beaten me by 45 minutes (keen, this one) and Adrian arrived just as I finished filling in the Visitors book. With some assistance from Adrian and Robin, I soon had everything unloaded and the Dobsonian setup in the classroom. The early morning sun could be seen low down shining through the trees and the Moon was very visible over the roof, however the plan didn't call for actual observing. We would be delivering talks to two of the 'Key Stage 2' classes, one before, and the other after, the mid-morning break. Robin's plan called for him to start with a quick 'finding North' and then split the class into two groups, with one remaining with Robin for the Constellations and Telescope talks, whilst the other joined Adrian and myself in the Hall for the Moon and Solar System demo. After about 30 mins the groups would swap over, so Adrian and I would have no more than 15 minutes to do each demo. On checking the hall we discovered a huge screen and AV system - fantastic ! Adrian soon plugged in his laptop and after a bit of random button pressing I managed to get it onto the screen. One of the teachers passed over an audio cable that plugged into Adrian's headphone socket, so he was ready to go with the NASA 'Evolution of the Moon' = a short video on how the Moon's craters were formed (which can be found on YouTube here) Soon the first 'half class' (14 students) joined us and Adrian launched into the Moon phases with my assistance waving his torch about as the 'sun' (and with a teacher who helped by turning off the hall lights at the appropriate times). I then followed up with the usual Solar System quiz and planet positioning. A couple of quick questions and then the groups were 'swapped'. I was quite amazed at the level of knowledge shown by many of the class, most of whom already knew the order of the planets. After going through the talks a second time with the second half-class (15) I was just starting to get the hang of Moon phase illumination :-) We then had a short break during which one of the staff was good enough to make us some coffee. During my Solar System demo to the next 'half class' (16 this time) a group of parents being shown around the school arrived in the hall = I'm not sure what they made of the tennis, cricket and baseballs all lined up in a row in front of the orange exercise mat clamped to the table at the other end of the hall but hopefully we left them with a good impression. Whilst our time-keeping had been 'spot on' for the first 3 groups, it slipped a bit for the final group (12) - Adrian over-ran and I rushed through the Solar System in an effort to catch up before we had to make way for the staff who needed to set up the hall for lunch. In the event we managed to 'pull it back' and only over-ran by 5 mins (to 11.35) and had almost finished packing up when the staff came in to layout the tables. Adrian and I then rejoined Robin who was still in 'full flow' answering questions from the whole class. Fortunately the Science teacher and his assistant helped us reload our kit (as we had to take it through the hall, the side gate being kept locked during the lunch break).
This note last modified: 23rd Oct 2016 08:47.



For the latest news, follow us on Twitter (javascript must be enabled for the 'button' below to work). Our latest Twitter postings can be seen on the Observing page

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We now have our own Facebook page !

exit to: Maidenhead Astronomical Society on Facebook



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
RBWM-Education Directorate
Mr B.Smith of Shottesbrooke
Mrs P.Haymes
The Telegraph newspaper
exit to Oregon Scientific
exit to Telescope house


Members images

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' !)

Latest photo:
Photo: Comet Catalina 2013

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)