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MAS archive

  Meetings  


Photo: jpeg (meeting in progress)
This page lists our monthly meetings. For other events open to the general public, see our Events page

Dates are set well in advance but the 'content' of the meeting is only updated (from our 'meetings database') when details are entered, so 'blank' or 'TBA' may be shown when data has not yet been entered (please be assured that the meeting will take place and a talk on (some) Subject will be delivered by (some) Speaker ! )


Photo: MAS Meeting
Meetings are held at the Church Hall (aka 'The Soltau Center') of St James-the-Less, Stubbings, Maidenhead SL6 6QW, from 7.30 (for a map and directions, see the About MAS (Where we meet) page

The Main Topic is usually delivered by an invited guest speaker. We aim to provide a diverse range of subjects linked (in some way) to Astronomy - whilst the 'Second Session' is typically delivered by one of our members. If time allows, the evening concludes with a short 'What to see this month'.

Details of a typical evening (times are approximate) :-
7.30pm. The evening starts with the Chairman delivering any important Announcements and then introducing the main speaker.
7.45pm (latest). Main Topic Speaker gets up and the lights are turned off.
If you arrive after 7.45, please enter the Hall by the first door (on the right, after the entrance) and please be extra careful when finding a seat at the back of the Hall as members often setup telescopes there !
8.45-9pm +. Coffee break during which visitors often chat with members who have set-up their telescopes at the back of the hall. If the weather is good, sometimes members will nip out for a quick look at the sky.
Smoking is permitted outside the Hall, however smokers are asked to avoid any 'observers' (smoke particles always seem to get into optical equipment, no matter how well 'sealed' it may be)
9.15pm (at the latest). The 'Second Session' then runs for about 45 mins, typically ending with "What's Up !" (what to look out for in the sky this month)
10pm. We aim to clear the hall by 10pm.
Post meeting Observing. If the weather is good, the Observing Organiser then leads the way to our chosen observing site, or (if the weather looks even a slight bit 'iffy) members sneak off to the local Pub instead :-)

Next meeting :

(-)  5 Jan 2018 Members Equipment - (Parade)

Friday, 5th January 2018 - Members (and Visitors) Equipment Parade Mini-talks will be run at the same time as members who have brought along their equipment are demonstrating it's use to others. Topics will include "Telescopes how to choose and use them" Visitors are invited to bring along their own telescopes and take the opportunity to ask questions of our more experienced members. After the break "Whats Up?" by Alun
All our indoor Meetings are open to the public, however non-members are asked to make a contribution of 2 toward the hall hire costs (this may be collected by Fred, our Membership Secretary, at the door on arrival, or left at the 'Tea hatch' at half time).
This note last modified: 21st Nov 2017 22:24.

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(+)  2 Feb 2018 Talks by Members

(+)  2 Mar 2018 Jupiter and the Juno Mission - (Dr John Rogers)

(+)  6 Apr 2018 Berkshire Astronomers - (Kenelm England FRAS)

(+)  4 May 2018 TBA

(+)  1 Jun 2018 MAS 61st AGM - (and Photo Competition prizes)

  Meetings Archive  


The meetings archive gives an 'overview' of the Society activities over the past 10 years (see also the Events page).

Members have access to the full 'History of MAS' (including AGM minutes going back to 1957) along with full names and photos

The MAS 'year' runs from September of one year to June of the following. The end of year AGM in June elects the Committee for the following year (there are no meetings in July and August - although often members will meet informally at the local pub - which gives the new Committee time to 'get a grip' on running the Society)

The "short cuts" (in the 'title bar', at the very top of this page) will take you to the June AGM entry for the end of that MAS year


The Maidenhead Astronomical Society meetings archive (last 10 years only)

Missed a meeting, or can't remember when a topic was last covered ? Here is the archive of past MAS meetings.
Note that this list covers only our monthly meetings and AGM's. Reports on Observing and Other Events are separate pages

If notes were taken at the meeting, the date below is underlined and shown with a '(+)' = click to see the notes (if no '(+)' is shown, no notes were taken - or, more likely, the webmaster hasn't found them and posted them up yet :-) )

(-)  1 Dec 2017 Xmas Quiz and Social - (Quiz Master Tim H)

Friday, 1st December 2017 - Christmas Quiz and Social NOTE. This is the first Friday in December (in previous years the December meeting was 2nd Friday, however this year it's the 1st). The Quiz The quiz questions were set by Tim H. (Winner in Dec 2016) and Susan (our Chairman). The 36 questions covered General knowledge, Meeting content, Astronomical News and Observing. Many of the Questions were multi-part, giving a possible total score of 63. Percy took the first place prize with 42(?) points. As has become traditional at our December meeting, Coffee, Tea and 'bubbly' (Carva) was served free of charge, along with some mince pies ! After the break Our Chairman, Susan, updated the members with results from our 18th November Leonids meteor watch event at White Waltham :- Despite the poor weather, we 'signed in' 94 members of the public. All of the scheduled talks were well attended. Shop receipts and donations were sufficient to cover the venue hire costs so we count the evening a success. The weather cleared after 10pm (just as the last of the public was leaving) so Percy and some other members stayed until midnight, although no meteors were seen.

Tim, however, described a meteor 'bolide' (explosion) that lit up the ground at midnight on the 24th. An image of the meteor was captured by Richard Fleet of UKMON can be seen here.

What's up Alun H. started with a quick overview of the planets during December. In short, all are hard to see = Mercury and Venus are rather too close to the Sun, Mars and Jupiter are (early) morning objects and Saturn is very close to the horizon (and sets soon after dusk) so only visible for a short time (and only to those with an unobstructed view to the horizon). Photo: ../Meetings/photos/2017-11-OrionTaurusMid3.gif
Rather than try to cover every visible constellation, he decided to focus on one - Taurus - which will be almost overhead (to the south) during December, in more detail.

Taurus can be found above and to the 'right' of Orion = follow the direction 'pointed' by Orion's 3 belt stars and you can't fail to spot Alpha Tauri (the 'eye of the Bull') Aldebaran, an orange giant star. It is only 65 light years from the Earth and likely hosts a planet several times the size of Jupiter. Pioneer 10 is heading in the general direction Aldebaran (and will make its closest approach in about two million years).

Photo: ../Meetings/photos/2017-11-Taurus.jpg
The Hyades star cluster is virtually in the middle of Taurus, whist above and right you will find the Pleiades (the 'seven sisters') star cluster. Further, the Milky Way runs right through Taurus, so there are many NGC objects (such as 1647, 1746/47) and planetary nebula (1514/5) to be found. This includes NGC 1952 (which is, perhaps, better known as M1, the Crab Nebula) remnant of the supernova that exploded July 4, AD1054.

The Crab Nebula is quite faint and hard to spot = it's just above the last star on the 'lower' of the two 'horns' (i.e. almost directly above Orion).

Members are challenged to use their DSLR's to capture the entire constellation or (on a guided mount) one of the star clusters. Those with imaging telescopes are challenged to capture M1 or NGC 1514 ! Any images sent to him will be featured in next meeting's report. A PDF copy of Alun's presentation can be  downloaded from here
A Merry Christmas to all out members, and don't forget to look out for the Geminids, particularly on the night 13/14 Dec. !! All our indoor Meetings are open to the public, however non-members are asked to make a contribution of 2 toward the hall hire costs (this may be collected by Fred, our Membership Secretary, at the door on arrival, or left at the 'Tea hatch' at half time).
This note last modified: 3rd Dec 2017 15:33.

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(+)  3 Nov 2017 Wonders of the Deep Sky - (Callum Potter)

(+)  6 Oct 2017 Observing the Sun - (by MAS members)

(+)  1 Sep 2017 Gravity Waves - (a recap by Martin Dyer)



(+)  2 Jun 2017 MAS 60th AGM - (and Photo Competition prizes)

(+)  5 May 2017 Novae - (Jim H)

(+)  7 Apr 2017 Comets - (Kenelm England)

(+)  3 Mar 2017 Pseudoastronomy - (Stephen Tonkin)

(+)  3 Feb 2017 Members short stories

(+)  6 Jan 2017 Telescope Parade - (exhibition by members)

(+)  9 Dec 2016 (note 2nd Friday) Christmas Quiz - (and members shorts)

(+)  4 Nov 2016 Observing Planetary Nebulae - (Owen Brazell)

(+)  7 Oct 2016 Astro tourism - (David Phillips)

(+)  2 Sep 2016 Rosetta Space Mission - (Andrew Morse)



(+)  3 Jun 2016 MAS 59th AGM - (and Photo competition results)

(+)  6 May 2016 Build a recording spectrometer John Paraskeva - (2nd half Spectrometer results Alun Halsey)

(+)  1 Apr 2016 The Universe in multiple wavelengths - (2nd half Gravity Waves)

(+)  4 Mar 2016 Astronomy and the Weather - (Robin Oldman)

(+)  5 Feb 2016 Sungrazing Comets - (Kenelm England FRAS)

(+)  8 Jan 2016 (note 8th as 1st is New Year) Practical Astrophotography - (and Telescope Parade)

(+) 11 Dec 2015 Xmas Quiz and members shorts - (NOTE DATE CHANGE)

(+)  6 Nov 2015 The Big Bang Theory - (Kevin Pretorius)

(+)  2 Oct 2015 Starting Astrophotography - (short talks by members)

(+)  4 Sep 2015 Basketballs and Beyond - (Jane Green)



(+)  5 Jun 2015 agm

(+)  8 May 2015 (NOTE 2nd Friday) Talks by Members

(+) 10 Apr 2015 (2nd Friday) planned meeting replaced by - (talks from members)

(+)  6 Mar 2015 Astronomy in Namibia - (Scott Marley)

(+)  6 Feb 2015 Did the Moon sink the Titanic ? - (Dr Barry Kellett)

(+)  7 Nov 2014 Guest stars ancient and modern - (Guy Hurst)

(+)  3 Oct 2014 Measuring the Universe - (Kevin Pretorius)

(+)  5 Sep 2014 UKMON - (Richard Kacerek)



(+)  6 Jun 2014 agm

(+)  2 May 2014 Asteroids and Comets - (Jerry Workman)

(+)  7 Mar 2014 Talks by members

(+)  7 Feb 2014 History of Radio Astronomy - (Paul Hyde)

(+)  3 Jan 2014 Members telescope workshop evening

(+)  4 Oct 2013 Project Alcock

(+)  6 Sep 2013 Zooniverse - (Brooke Simmons)



(+)  7 Jun 2013 agm

(+)  3 May 2013 Members Photographic Compitition

(+)  1 Mar 2013 Exploring the Solar System by Satellite - (Dr Stuart Eves)

(+)  1 Feb 2013 Mars revisited - (Gerry Workman)

(+)  2 Nov 2012 (place holder)

(+)  5 Oct 2012 The History of Dark Nebula

(+)  7 Sep 2012 Photographing the Night Sky - (Nik Szymanek)



(+)  1 Jun 2012 agm

(+)  4 May 2012 Origins of time keeping

(+) 12 Apr 2012 The Faulkes Telescope Project

(+)  2 Mar 2012 Astronomy for new members - (various)

(+)  2 Dec 2011 Xmas social and Reprocessing old data using new Registax - (Bruce Kingsley)



(+)  3 Jun 2011 agm

(+)  6 May 2011 Occultations Ancient and Modern - (Tim Haymes)

(+)  1 Apr 2011 Active Galactic Nuclei - (Dr Nick Hewitt)

(+)  4 Mar 2011 Astro Imaging Overseas - (Damian Peach)

(+)  4 Feb 2011 Dark Energy and the Accelerating Universe - (Dr Mark Sullivan)

(+)  7 Jan 2011 Social evening and Quiz - (Tim & Robin)

(+)  5 Nov 2010 Big Bangs - (Jim & Tim)

(+)  1 Oct 2010 Astronomy in Space - (David & Jim)

(+)  3 Sep 2010 The Sun Kings - (Dr Stuart Clark)

(+)  2 Jul 2010 Telescope and Camera workshop - (members)



(+)  4 Jun 2010 agm

(+)  9 Apr 2010 Meteorites - (David Bryant)

(+)  5 Mar 2010 Bits and Pieces - (Greg Smye Rumsby)

(+)  8 Jan 2010 (cancelled due to snow)

(+)  4 Dec 2009 Xmas Social and Quiz

(+)  6 Nov 2009 Planetary Nebulae - (Owen Brazel)

(+)  2 Oct 2009 A beginners guide to the night sky - (Tim H)

(+)  4 Sep 2009 Short talks - (members)



(+)  5 Jun 2009 agm



(+)  6 Jun 2008 agm



(+)  1 Jun 2007 agm



(+)  7 Jun 2006 agm



(+)  3 Jun 2005 agm



(+)  4 Jun 2004 agm

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