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
Maidenhead Astronomical Society notes from the AGM 5th June 2009
Executive Committee: Martin A (Chairman), Tim H, Jim H
Minutes by Susan F, edit by Steve B for public web, full Minutes moved to Members Only pages)
Back in 2008 an initial contact with a small number of schools was made via letters from Bob. Furze Platt, Newlands and Claires Court all expressed an interest in links with the society and the Committee met in 15th August to discuss how to proceed. Discussions with RBWM Science Coordinator followed with presentations given to schools in May 2009. On the 20th May, Martin A, Pete O and Jim H gave talks to St Edwards RFE Middle, St Edwards First, Trevelyan, and Holy Trinity at a single event held at St Edwards, Windsor. On 21st May, Martin and Pete gave the same talks to Courthouse, and, on the same day, Martin, Pete, Tim H and Jim repeated the talks to Cox Green and Desborough schools (at Cox Green). Our intention is to do something similar in 2010.
A number of activities and events took place relating to the IYA2009 celebrations. These included :-
10th October 2008: `Moon and Planets' public talks and observing at Braywick Nature Centre (the first time the new display boards, purchased with the O2 It's Your Community grant were used). 40+ people got to hear talks on the Autumn Night Sky (Tim H) and the Gas Giants (Jim H). Money raised on the night covered out hall hire costs.
A `Cash for the Community' token collection took place toward the end of 2008. This was a sterling effort by society members who collected 545 tokens from the Maidenhead Advertiser newspaper as part of the Bayliss Trust giveaway to community groups. The society ranked 12th out of 76 participating local groups and received a cheque for £197.36. MAS members voted that the money should become a 'Public Events Fund', aimed at supporting society Outreach to the local community and for the purchase of a MAS-branded weatherproof banner. This was purchased on behalf of the society by David M.
28th March 2009: `Coffee with the stars' at Maidenhead High Street Methodist Church hall. This public coffee morning was coordinated and arranged by society members, and included a number of activities, such as `Find Apollo 11', a great rolling presentation, a solar eclipse simulator and a number of exhibits. This was a great team effort. This event formed the first of two Spring IYA2009 events.
1st April 2009: `MoonWatch at Braywick'. This was the second of the Spring IYA2009 events, and was mentioned a few days before in the national press as part of the IYA2009 Moon Watch celebrations. Consequently, the number of people exceeded 61, including a family that drove from South Wales specifically for our event. The public were entertained by two excellent talks by Bruce Kingsley and Petar Opacic on the Moon and the Apollo 11 moon landing. Many scopes were set-up giving the public great views of the Moon. This night was a resounding success.
9th May 2009: Trip to the National Space Centre in Leicester. This was an entertaining day out to the UK's premiere dedicated space education centre which contained many thought-provoking exhibits. A big thanks goes to Susan for organising this event.
The society is newly affiliated with MaDAC (Maidenhead and District Arts Council) which brings benefits such as additional publicity, monthly arts diary in the Maidenhead Advertiser, and the options for exhibition space outside the library and the Sainsbury's Gallery.
The society remains affiliated to the FAS which benefits us in terms of value-for-money PLI insurance.
Tim H suggested that we be affiliated to the BAA and agreed to investigate the costs and benefits to the society.
A monthly `View from the Dark Side' members "Q&A" has been distributed via the society mailing list. This gives members the chance to be subjected to light-hearted questions and to air their views, experience and words of wisdom (responses will be kept within the Members Only web section)
Congratulations go to two of our members :-
Mustafa J for achieving his BSc(hons) Open degree with the OU
Jenny H for commencing her Biochemistry (Molecular Biology) studies at Oxford
The chairman thanked the following members for their contributions to the society above and beyond the call of duty :-
Petar O for helping make the schools outreach happen.
Steve B for the significant effort put into the rolling presentation at `Coffee with the Stars'.
Robin O for an excellent hands-on solar eclipse simulator.
Susan F for organising the trip to the National Space Centre.
.. as well as thanking all the others who helped with our various activities.
Membership Secretary Report
We slightly increased overall membership and general participation in 2009. October and February were the best attended meetings with January being the poorest, probably due to the Jan 2nd date. The figures are as below-
Average of 37.9 attendees per meeting this year, with 16 visitors. We have 58 paid up members, gaining 13 new members and loosing 8. Membership 'trend' is 'up', from 2004/5 31, 2005/6 41, 2006/7 41, 2007/8 55, 2008/9 58.
Overall the Society is in good shape there is no need to raise Membership fees. However the cost of the Stubbings meeting facility has increased as has the membership of FAS. The Society changed banks from the Nationwide to the HSBC to have a cheque book and an account with 3 signatories.
Meeting Secretary's Report
This year we had 4 guest speakers Tom Bowles on Supernovae, Jerry Workman on Mars in February, Kevin Johnson from the Science Museum on telescopes and Ken England on The History of Astronomy 2009 anniversary. Six MAS members gave talks. David M on Astro Photography for Beginners, Tim H on the Autumn/Winter Sky, Bob B on Mythology and the Moon, Jim H on the Formation of the Moon, Bruce K on Moon Features and Alan D on the building of his dome.
The May 7th 2008 Moon and Mercury informal observing session at Winter Hill was attended by 20 people and on Dec 13th 2007 one for the Geminids was attended by 30 people.
Election of Committee
The following were elected unanimously:-
Chairperson - Martin A, Vice Chairperson - Bob B, Meeting Secretary - Tim H, Membership Secretary - David He, Treasurer - Jim H, Newsletter Editor - Tim H, Librarian - Graeme R, Catering Mgr and deputy - Mustafa J + Susan F, Publicity Officer - Susan F (aided by Martin A and Tim H), Webmaster - David M.
Constitution Martin A presented a "slight" amendment to the MAS Constitution, subject 5b, 5c, 5g, 5m, 6e and 8 in order to tidy up and bring the constitution up to date. The Committee 'posts' were better defined, with role of Webmaster being added to reflect the growing importance of the website as the primary means of communicating with members. These changes ere approved unanimously.
Yuen H-T asked about the possibility of adding another meeting, an 11th, to our meetings calendar. Some Committee members felt this would 'clash' with summer holiday dates too much, so felt unable to plan to do this at present. It was noted that members could always get together 'informally' during the summer months.
Tim H requested the members send an email of any speakers or subjects they wish for him to investigate for inclusion at future meetings and asked for a show of hands to gauge the equipment and interests of members
(Telescopes of less than 6" =10, Telescopes over 6" =8, Binos only =6, no equipment =2. Use their kit for Visual observing only =14, Mainly imaging =4, Both =7. Members wanting to use the Society telescope =1.
Members were reminded about the Website and how to access the 'members only' section (David H will send out a reminder of the password to everyone).
Dates for ad-hoc observing and the Xmas meal are TBA (and will be communicated when decided).
This note last modified: 11th Jun 2019 10:38.
(+) 6 Jun 2008 agm
(+) 1 Jun 2007 agm
(+) 7 Jun 2006 agm
(+) 3 Jun 2005 agm
(+) 4 Jun 2004 agm