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 ! )
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 Apr 2019 Space Weather - (Dr Colin Forsyth)
(+) 3 May 2019 To be announced
(+) 7 Jun 2019 MAS 61st AGM
(+) Jul 2019 Summer break - (no meeting)
(+) Aug 2019 Summer break - (no meeting)
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 Mar 2019 The Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) - (Dr)
(+) 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
(+) 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
Summary of the Annual General Meeting, 1st June 2007
(full minutes can be found on the Members Only pages)
Chairman David H welcomed members to the meeting. Attendance: 21 members.
Matters arising from the 2006 AGM
* The insurance cover has been confirmed as sufficient
* FAS subscription to be maintained as this provides insurance for the society.
* Charitable status: No moves were suggested for the society to become a charity. The positives such as VAT reclamation and the ability to apply for lottery funding were uncertain.
* Susan F suggested that our society could apply for local funds either from the local council or the Bayliss Trust. This merits further investigation.
* Tim H has compiled the History of MAS (see website Members Only pages), which was used to great effect at the `Maidenhead Stargazers' exhibition at the Maidenhead Heritage Centre, King Street.
* Maidenhead Carnival (10th June 2006) was deemed by those present to be a success, raising the profile of the society, although issues with the siting of our 'stall', combined with the incredibly hot day and the England vs. Paraguay World Cup football match probably had a negative impact on the attendance.
David H expressed thanks to the many contributors over the year:
· The in-house speakers
· The imagers who have contributed great images to the MAS website
· David M for his work on setting up the new website
· The 50th celebration committee (Tim H, Martin A, Susan F, David Ha, David He, Jim H, Mustafa J, David M, Vic M, Petar O, Graeme R and Bob B)
· Special thanks to Susan F for organising the 500th meeting as well as the celebratory meal planned for 8th June.
· Special thanks to Martin A for helping coordinate the public lecture planned for 30th June.
· The external lecturers who have provided stimulating and entertaining talks throughout the year.
The Lunar Eclipse public event at Braywick Nature Centre on 3rd March 2007 was a success. Not only was there a great turnout, but the weather was perfect, offering fantastic views of the early to mid-phases of the eclipse. As an indication of technological progress, children were using their camera-mobile-phones pushed against the eyepiece to take images as a memento of the event.
Dedicated members of the society, despite the rain, attended the Scout `100th anniversary of Scouting' Jamboree on 26th May 2007 at Marsh Meadow. A short talk was given on astronomy and planispheres to interested cubs as part of their Stargazer badge.
The `Maidenhead Stargazers' exhibition at the Maidenhead Heritage Centre, 1st-19th May 2007, was the result of a great deal of effort from members. It helped raise awareness of the society. Particular reference was made to the great model of the Lassell Telescope by Tim Ha. The future of the model is uncertain.
Tim H noted that the attendance was up by 8% on the previous year. The list of lecture topics for the year was read out. It was felt that it has been a successful year due to the high number of higher profile speakers. The society has gained five new members, which offsets the five whose membership has lapsed. The current membership is 41, which includes two life members, Brian S and Peter K. Future public viewing evenings are planned for December 2007 (to coincide with the Geminids), and March 2008 (Jupiter, Moon and Mars).
Jim H described the state of the finances as healthy, with an ending balance up by about £100 on the year. The 50th anniversary meal payments will cover the cost and it is expected that the the public lecture ticket sales will cover the hall and presenter fees. However, the cost of Hall hire rose by 50% during the year.
Discussion flourished about the rising hall-hire charges and those present mentioned a number of alternative venues. These include the White Waltham airfield (West of London Aeroclub), a location in North-West Slough, Braywick Nature Centre, and WAMSAD, however the society will stay at Stubbings for the coming year.
Given the rising costs, it was deemed necessary to raise the membership fees for the first time in nine years. Concessions from £8 to £10, Adults from £12 to £15, and Family from £20 to £25. The proposal was put to the meeting and accepted by majority vote.
Tim H raised the question of whether borrowers should be charged a small fee for the loan of books from the MAS library. The discussion of this item was deferred to a future committee meeting.
Election of officers
David H (Chairman) announced his intention to stand down after seven years in the role and would not be dissuaded. The following Officers were elected:
Chairman - Martin A, Vice-chairman - Bob B, Meetings Secretary - Tim H, Membership secretary - David H, Treasurer - Jim H
Minutes secretary - Tim H, Newsletter editor - Simon P, Librarian - Graeme R, Catering Manager - Mustafa J, Projectionist - Jim H (projector) David Ha (screen), Publicity Officer - Susan F
Any Other Business
* The 50th Anniversary dinner, will take place on Friday 8th June, at Norden Farm. 37 members and partners will attend the dinner and be entertained by both a slideshow and an after-dinner speech by Dr Chris Lintott (BBC Sky at Night).
* There will be a public viewing session for the students and parents of Spinfield School, Terrington Hill, Marlow, on 9th June. Three members will bring their telescopes.
* The 50th Anniversary Public Lecture will take place on 30th June 2007 at the Desborough Suite, Maidenhead Town Hall. Martin A provided an update of ticket sales (~quarter sold so far), and impressed upon members to try and sell to family, friends and acquaintances. Despite an extensive poster and planned media campaign, it is anticipated that word-of-mouth will remain a very effective method for selling tickets.
* The Chairman enquired as to the status of the projector. It was confirmed that it belongs to the society (having been thrown-out by RBWM and fixed by Martin Andrews). Concern was raised regarding the contingency plans for if the projector fails. * A small number of members are able to borrow projectors on occasion, but the society should obtain another projector in case of failure.
* Susan F suggested that press cuttings should appear on the MAS website. This was generally agreed to be a good idea. The copyright of the articles was unclear during discussions.
This note last modified: 18th Jun 2015 19:47.
(+) 7 Jun 2006 agm
(+) 3 Jun 2005 agm
(+) 4 Jun 2004 agm