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 :
(+) 3 Apr 2020 CANCELLED
(+) 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
Notes from Maidenhead Astronomical Society AGM 4th June 2010
(full minutes, by Susan F, can be found on the Members Only pages)
Chairman's Report Martin A.
A number of activities and events took place this past year.
* Perseid Observing on 11th August 2009: Tim H organised an informal observing session for members at Cookham Dean Common.
* MAS Xmas Meal: This could be seen as a very late get together or an early one! Around half the members attended this meal at the Red Lyon at Hurley, on 23rd October, organised by Martin A
* Autumn Stargazing Public Event on 20th November 2009: This took place between 810pm at Braywick Nature Centre. It was a free event but with donations received toward its running costs. Tim H and Petar O gave talks with Robin O acting host. 92 people attended of which 45% were children thanks to good promotion within schools due to our schools initiatives.
* Christmas Quiz: Held during our December meeting, it was organised and run by quiz-masters, Robin O and Susan F.
* Website Content: This is the hub for members and an `advertisement' for the Society, helping to draw in new members and inform the public about our events. Web content has been updated regularly by Tim H.
* `Looking Up!' Sainsbury Gallery Photography Exhibition 14th February 14th March 2010: This exhibition contained astronomy photos taken from members' gardens or of visually interesting night sky objects. Thanks to all our members who participated by submitting photographs or voting which to include. David M dealt with prints, collation etc. We were able to exhibit here thanks to Maidenhead Camera Club and our membership of MaDAC.
* Bray & Holyport Cubs Event on 23rd March 2010: We were asked for help with the session for cubs to gain their astronomy badge. Tim H and Robin O kindly volunteered to go along and we received very positive feedback.
* MAS trip on 15th May 2010: An almost full coach went to The Herschel Museum in Bath on a bright sunny day. The museum was very interesting with a lovely small garden we were also able to enjoy, together with time to walk around the picturesque sights of Bath. Organised by Susan F.
Plan for 2010 We discussed briefly plans for 2010 so far looked at by the MAS Committee.
* MAS Society Meal in the last quarter
* Jan 2010 meeting to possibly be rearranged to July due to the dates clashing with the New Year holidays.
* Using the second half of our meetings for 10 minute `bite sized' presentations. Members can volunteer to speak about something astronomy related that they are interested in.
* All `main' speakers are booked for the next season 2010/11
* Public events currently under discussion include a Sept/Oct public observing session for Jupiter and globular clusters, and an informal coffee morning event/workshop.
* School Outreach we are currently in discussion with schools and they will inform us of possible sessions, to tie in with observing if possible. Perhaps talk first, then observing with subjects such as the `Birth, Life & Death of Stars'.
We currently have a number of affiliations/memberships
* MADAC Maidenheads arts and community society. Membership is only £15 per year and has enabled us to do the Sainsbury exhibition and keeps us in the loop with local events. Martin A presented an overview of MAS at their AGM and Susan F also attended. Membership is renewable in April.
* FAS Tim H receives information from them and we have £5m of Public Liability Insurance through them.
* BAA it was agreed that MAS should not join.
* New Assets 2 x Beginner Astronomy Books
* Existing Assets we remind members that we have 2 telescopes for members use available on loan.
The Chairman thanked the following members for their contributions to the society above and beyond the call of duty.
- David M for the Sainsbury exhibition, website maintenance etc;
- Robin O for outreach and public events;
- Susan F as special events co-ordinator and for PR;
- Tim H for the website, events help, history and general contributions which are many!
Also thanks to everyone else who is not mentioned but has helped with our various activities.
Membership Secretary Report
Membership has remained stable at 56 members. We have 9 new members, 7 lapsed and 4 that have ended. The 56 consists of 28 full, 18 concessions and 10 family.
We increased the number of guests. We had 35 visits this year against 16 the previous year. We had 9 visits by lapsed members (undetected!). The highest number of visitors was at the March 2010 meeting, followed by April and September. The least popular was December. The average audience for the year was 43.25 visitors, up by 5 from last year. Half of members come to 7 or more meetings out of the 10.
Not all the visitors paid the £2 guest fee, however it will be left in place, and ask for emails too. There were 35 guest visits from 29 visitors which mean 6 came twice.
Overall the Society is in good shape, though the incomings and outgoings this year are just about balanced. Although the cost of speakers has increased, there is no proposal to raise the Membership fee.
Meeting Secretary's Report
Tim H promises a broad range of subjects for 2010/11. He talked about the `bite sized' shorts for after the meeting and asked for MAS members to contact him if they would like to do a talk. He would also do short talks on what we should be able to see in the sky each month or as appropriate.
Tim again requests members send an email of any speakers or subjects they wish for him to investigate for inclusion at future meetings.
Election of Officers
Martin A had tendered his resignation as Chairman some weeks ago, due to a weekday move to Exeter for a new job, however he expressed a willingness to accept nomination as Vice-Chairman.
Three nominations were received for Chair (Jim H, Susan F and Bob B). As per the Constitution, a secret vote was run at the meeting and Susan F was elected as Chairman.
The remaining posts were filled 'unopposed', on a show of hands (all elected unanimously):-
Vice Chairman Martin A. Meeting Secretary - Tim H. Membership Secretary - David He. Treasurer - Jim Ho.
Volunteer posts: Newsletter Editor - Steve B. Librarian - Graeme R. Catering Mgr and deputy Mustafa J and David Ha. Publicity Officer - Petar O. Webmaster - David Ma and Tim H (2nd hat)
Non-elected Minutes Secretary and meeting review - John L. Projectionist/screens Steve B and Jim House, Tim H and David Ha. Email list administrator Martin A
Co-opted for Committee meeting advise: Robin O and Bob B
Steve B is donating some books for the library & suggests a list of books to be put on the website (Graeme R will do).
Tim H asked for pictures of members and their interests. This will be under password protection only and no-one will be put on without their consent.
Outgoing Chairman, Martin A, said it had been a pleasure to be the Chairman for the last 3 years and that he was looking forward to being Vice Chairman and continuing with his key aim of getting the general public more interested in astronomy, which has been successful. He said he was leaving a Society in good financial shape with an able band of volunteers and he wanted to thank everyone for their help and making his tenure an enjoyable time.
This note last modified: 11th Jun 2019 10:38.
(+) 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