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Random tip: Only binoculars beat a Dobsonian in overall set up time.LookingUp logo
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  Members Annual Photo Competition 2022  

Postponed from 2020 due to Covid. Entries are now open for the 2022 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  


  Next Months Meeting  

  Friday, 2nd June 2023    MAS 66th AGM    (Annual General Meeting)  

We have now moved back to indoor meetings (starting with the September 2021 meeting). These 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, 2nd September 2022

  InfraRed Astronomy   (Dr Eric Dunford)  

  Friday, 3rd February 2023

  The Galaxy without a dark side   (Barry Kellett)  

  Friday, 7th October 2022

  The Lunar 100   (Dr Lilian Hobbs)  

  Friday, 3rd March 2023

  Study of our Galaxy in the Era of Gaia   (James Binney)  

  Friday, 4th November 2022

  Exploration of Jupiter   (Dr Mike Legett)  

  Friday, 31st March 2023

  Overview of telescopes and mounts   (Dave Hayes)  

  Friday, 2nd December 2022

  Xmas Social Photo Comp and Quiz   (set by members)  

  Friday, 5th May 2023

  Two talks by members   (LATE CHANGE)  

  Friday, 6th January 2023

  Telescope Parade and Workshop   (by members)  

  Friday, 2nd June 2023

  MAS 66th 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: 11th Apr 2016 17:06.
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)

19 Apr 2023 Newlands School - (outreach)

19th April, 2023 – Newlands Girls’ School (2 - 4pm)
MAS team: Steve, Robin, Adrian D., Adrian J. (lead)
Report by Adrian J.
This was an interesting double event; we had organised two back-to-back sessions at the school. The first was for a small group of (5) year-13 students who are studying an astronomy module as part of their physics A-level; this was to help them revise the ‘telescopes’ topic ahead of upcoming exams. The second session was for the year-7/8 after-school science club. We arrived in good time and parked close to the main entrance where the school had reserved spaces for us. We were escorted into the school and Steve, Robin and Adrian D. made their way to the assigned outside area to set up their telescopes. The clouds were starting to break and there was a chance we could do some solar projection / viewing. Adrian J. joined the A-level students in their classroom and gave a talk about telescope design and features, covering the main A-level curriculum topics. The students then moved outside where Steve, Robin and Adrian D. described and demonstrated their telescopes (Dobsonian, refractor and Schmidt-Cass. respectively.) During gaps in the clouds, the students got good views of two prominent sunspots through Adrian’s filtered C8, and by projection on the other scopes. Photo: ../Outreach_&_Events/photos/2023-04-19-Newlands-Dob-thumb.jpg
Steve's Dob. set up in solar projection mode
Photo: Steve

With the first session finished, it was school finishing time and the after-school science club started to arrive. Robin returned to the classroom and gave a short ‘Whats Up’ talk to the group of ??????????????????? students. We then split the class into two groups – one to go outside for telescope viewing, the other staying in the classroom for a (new) talk on Exoplanets by Adrian J. After 15 minutes we swapped the groups over and repeated. All the students got to see the sunspots as more clear spells developed. The logistics of running two different sessions back to back was a bit more complicated than usual, but organization by the school staff was excellent and the afternoon went smoothly. The students seemed to enjoy the events and feedback from their teachers was very positive indeed. As we packed up to leave, the last of the cloud disappeared leaving a crystal-clear blue sky (of course!)
This note last modified: 20th Apr 2023 14:26.



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  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