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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 :

(-)  6 Dec 2019 Xmas Quiz and social - (By members)

Friday, 6th December 2019 - Christmas Quiz set by members, followed by social.
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: 11th Jun 2019 10:38.

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(+)  3 Jan 2020 Equipment Parade - (By members)

(+)  7 Feb 2020 Ask an expert Q and A panel - (By Members)

(+)  6 Mar 2020 TBA

(+)  3 Apr 2020 TBA

(+)  1 May 2020 TBA

(+)  5 Jun 2020 MAS 62nd AGM

  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 Nov 2019 The Origin of the Solar System - (James Fradgley)

Friday, 1st November 2019 - "The Origin of the Solar System" by James Fradgley Notices Dave H has volunteered to take over from Tim as Meetings Secretary. Members who have something to present at meetings 'after the break' should contact Dave. Main Speaker "The Origin of the Solar System" by James Fradgley< James started by mentioning how the discovery of extra-solar planets and latest advances in computer modelling are leading to changes in our understanding of how the solar system formed and it's evolution into what we see today. The Big Bang theory of the origins of the Universe shoe that the first matter was hydrogen with a little helium. Our solar system, however contains much that is not hydrogen. All of this must have been cooked up in the first generation stars. Our sum is at least a second generation star and most likely 3rd generation. It is formed from a gas cloud of material ejected from ancient nova and supernova. Early models of how the gas cloud collapsed to form a sun with planets required an outside influence, thought to be a passing star. Since this would be a rare event, planets were also thought to the rare. However Kepler has shown that far from being rare, exoplanets are extremely common, with over 4,000 now discovered and 700 yet to be confirmed. Indeed, it is now believed that planets form with most suns. The current theory, the Condensation Model, allows that the gas cloud collapsed naturally under it's own gravity. Most of the gas ended ip on the sun, with the rocky material then aggregating together to form planets just outside the 'rock-metal line', the distance from the sun at which it is cool enough for rock and metal to condense. Outside the 'frost line', where it is cold enough for gas to condense, the gas giants formed. However multiple proto-planets formed and collided and reformed until only a few were left. It is believed that during this phase Mercury lost most of it's crust leaving a heavy core, the rotation of Venus was slowed, a collision with the proto-Earth formed the moon and Mars was so battered that it ended up the small planet we see today. The gas giant Jupiter, was initially formed much closer to the sun. First it migrated closer, but then migrated outward under the influence of a 5th gas giant that was ejected from the solar system in the process. This migratioin may have been responsible for the early and late heavy bombardment of the inner planets. As Jupiter migrated outward, it is thought to have hoovered up a lot of the left over material leaving only the asteroid belt. At some point, Uranus and Neptune seem to have swapped position. This may have been under the influence of a 6th gas giant, aka Planet Nine in a long period orbit of 20,000 years or so. Ed. After the collisions and migration of Jupiter, the planets settled into regular spaced orbits that are, it seems, stable. This had been noted by early observers, and in 1596, Johannes Kepler predicted the existence of a planet between Mars and Jupiter. We now know that Jupiter's gravity is too massive to allow a planet to form there, but the left over material was found, the Asteroid Belt. The harmonious orbits of the planets was another reason for thinking that solar systems would be rare, however we now know this is no accident. With planet migration now explained, every solar system will likely undergo similar planetary movements until their orbits are stable. After the break Tim displayed us a number of photos taken from his new home north of Oxford. They were most impressive and showed that his location has some good dark skies, even better he reports that his previous location. David showed his photos f the Transit of Mercury. The next (and last in our life-time) is on the 11th of November, starting just after noon, ending after the sun sets. If weather permits, Members may observe from Ockwells Park, althoygh no formal observing session is planned.
What's Up Aluns presentation can be downloaded as 2019-11-sky-outlook.pdf here
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: 6th Nov 2019 10:50.

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(+)  4 Oct 2019 Kew Observatory and the origins of modern solar physics - (Dr Lee Macdonald)

(+)  6 Sep 2019 History of Mars Exploration - (Jim House)

(+) Aug 2019 Summer break - (no meeting)

(+) Jul 2019 Summer break - (no meeting)



(+)  7 Jun 2019 MAS 61st AGM - (and Photo Competition prizes)

(+)  3 May 2019 13 Journeys in Space and Time - (Colin Stuart)

(+)  5 Apr 2019 Space Weather - (Dr Colin Forsyth)

(+)  1 Mar 2019 The Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) - (Dr Aprajita Verma)

(+)  1 Feb 2019 Ask the Expert - (members panel)

(+)  4 Jan 2019 Equipment exhibition - (and EGM)

(+)  7 Dec 2018 Christmas Quiz and Social

(+)  2 Nov 2018 Short talks - (by members)

(+)  5 Oct 2018 The Future is out of this World - ( Dr Stuart Eves FRAS)

(+)  7 Sep 2018 13 Journeys through space and Time - (Postponed new date TBA)

(+) Aug 2018 Summer break - (no meeting)

(+) Jul 2018 Summer break - (no meeting)



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

(+)  4 May 2018 Using Video and an Aurora Encounter - (by members)

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

(+) 16 Mar 2018 NEW DATE Jupiter and the Juno Mission - (Dr John Rogers)

(+)  2 Feb 2018 Talks by Members

(+)  5 Jan 2018 Telescope and Equipment workshop - (Q and A with members)

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

(+)  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 - (Roger Dymock)

(+)  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 - (Owen Brazell)

(+)  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 - (Dr Paul Roche and Sarah Roberts)

(+)  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 Brazell)

(+)  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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