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 :
(+) 1 May 2020 The Monster in the Crab - (Gary Poyner)
(+) 5 Jun 2020 MAS 62nd AGM
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 :-) )
(+) 3 Apr 2020 CANCELLED
(+) 6 Mar 2020 Recent Developments in Gravity Wave Research - (Martin Dyer)
(+) 7 Feb 2020 Ask an expert Q and A panel - (By Members)
(+) 3 Jan 2020 Equipment Parade - (By members)
(+) 6 Dec 2019 Xmas Quiz and social - (By members)
(+) 1 Nov 2019 The Origin of the Solar System - (James Fradgley)
(+) 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
Summary of Maidenhead Astronomical Society AGM, 6 June 2008
(the full minutes, taken by Susan F, have been moved to the Members Only section)
Matter arising from 2007 minutes
* Alternative venues - these were discussed because Stubbings had increased charges 50%. Membership has increased from 31 members to 55so the Hall increase would be covered, however it was noted that Stubbings capacity limit is 80 so we may be forced to move if Membership increases beyond this. The next preferred option, WAMSAD should be given a 'trial' before any move.
* Projector - Last year there were concerns about the state of the projector. A new projector, screen and display boards have been purchased thanks to funds from O2 'It's Your Community' Fund.
Martin A. reported that a number of activities were undertaken to promote our 50th Anniversary and there were other notable events.
* 8th June 2007. 50th Anniversary Dinner. Dr Chris Lintott gave the after dinner speech at this very well received event at Norden Farm. A big thanks to Susan F for organising this.
* 30th June 2007. Dr Francisco Diego gave a lecture entitled 'The Lives of Stars and People'. Over 100 people attended, half non-members. As a result of the event we now know which adverts worked, the organisation required and additional elements such as refreshment requirements.
* 13th December 2007 Meteor Shower Night. This worked well and we had clear skies. Donations and sales to Tea Coffee etc. raised sufficient to cover the costs. Thanks to Tim H and Jim H for the talks.
* 15th March 2008 Greenwich Trip. The weather was quite good until we had our individual tour. Rain then pelted down meaning we could not use the telescope which was disappointing, but mostly the day was enjoyed. A big thanks to Susan F for organising it.
* 18th April 2009 Christmas Meal. Slightly late as usual! It was held at The Three Horseshoes at Marlow. Thanks to David Ma for organising it.
* 'It's Your Community' Award - We received £1,000 toward our outreach events and so purchased the much needed new projector, screen and display boards. A big thank you to Graeme R.
* 31st May 2008. Not a MAS event but a noteworthy one. Members were invited by Bruce to the opening of the Kingsley Observatory by Sir Patrick Moore. It was a hot and sunny day and enjoyed by all who attended.
Agreed at Committee meetings :-
1) MAS Newsletters to continue. Two quality newsletters have been produced - thanks to Simon P. Thanks also to the contributors, Simon, Martin, Tim and David Ma.
2) MAS email mailing lists. We have three lists. One for committee members, one for MAS members and a 'guests' list (those attending Meetings and leaving their email address)
3) We have now compiled an asset list and the Society has two telescopes for loan to members
4) A guests attending meetings will be asked to contribute £2 at each meeting, which will be deducted from the Membership fee if they become a member.
5) We will not introduce a library loan fee
6) We have planned 2 summer public observing events at Braywick, a trip to the National Space Museum and a public event for IYA 2009.
7) We would like to pro-actively ask for feedback and comments from any member or attendees at the public events that will aid our future plans
The chairman also gave extra thank you' to the following for help above the call of duty:
Petar O for supplying leaflets, printing, lecture material etc.
Susan F for the Greenwich trip.
Graeme R for organising the O2 grant.
Membership Secretary Report
We increased membership and general participation in 2008. We have 55 paid up members, gaining 18 new members during the year and loosing 4 lapsed.
We usually have 30+ members for most meetings now, with a peak of 48 for Alan Longstaff's lecture evening. An average of 37.8 attendees per meeting, which attracted a total of 74 guests during the year. A quarter of all visits were from members who joined this year, so we are gaining active members. It is, however, of some concern that 18 members did not attend any meeting this year.
Jim H reports that the cost of the new Projector, Screen and display boards was covered by the O2 Grant and Membership fees cover our normal running costs. Money raised at events covers the cost of those events, so there is no proposal to change the Membership fees.
In fact, since the balance in the bank has been edging up over the years, there was some discussion about the possible purchase of a film (i.e. slide positive and photo negative) scanner.
Meeting Secretary's Report
Tim H reports that May 7th 2008 saw a 'Moon and Mercury' informal observing session at Winter Hill, which was attended by 20 members. On Dec 13th 2007 a further observing event for the Geminids was attended by 30 members.
At our meetings, the Telescope Parade in April was the most popular, with many members bringing their equipment and sharing knowledge and tips. The sky was good for viewing.
For Meeting talks / subjects for next year, see website (highlights include a Moon Watch in March 09 for IYA2009, a public partial solar eclipse viewing on August 1st am, a Braywick talk on August 12th on Late Summer Skies etc.
Election of Officers
Chair - Martin A, Vice Chair - Bob B, Meeting Secretary - Tim H, Membership Secretary - David He, Treasurer - Jim H.
Minutes Secretary and meeting review: - David He, Bruce K, Newsletter Editor - Bruce K, Librarian - Graeme R, Catering Mgr and deputy - Mustafa J and Susan F, Projectionist Martin A, Jim H, Graeme R and David Ha, Publicity Officer Susan F aided by Martin A and Tim H, Webmaster - David M and Tim H, Emails & Members database Martin A
A proposed to extend the Hall hire by 15 mins (from 7-45 start to 7-30) was voted on and passed. Note that the hire is until 10pm
Bob B expressed a wish to reduce the average age of members, though it must be noted that events have helped to recruit younger members. Bob proposes that a Young Astronomers Branch is set-up and contact is made with local schools science departments. Petar suggested they act as guest speakers. It was noticed that some members had undertaken projects with Spinfield School (David Ha) and local Scouts groups. It was suggested some volunteers to work to put together suggestions.
The meeting closed with the showing of a film of the Lunar Eclipse and our 50th anniversary celebrations made by Petar O.
This note last modified: 11th Jun 2019 10:38.
(+) 1 Jun 2007 agm
(+) 7 Jun 2006 agm
(+) 3 Jun 2005 agm
(+) 4 Jun 2004 agm