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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 :

(+)  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)

  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 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)

March 6th. Subject: Astronomy in Namibia. Speaker: Scott Marley Scott Marley worked as as the resident astronomer at the Sossusvlei Desert Lodge in Namibia. On arrival his first task was to repair the telescope which he achieved (despite the lack of tools and spare parts in a location 500km from the nearest Post Office), after having a replacement optical encoder flown in by charter plane (and using the Sun, via the finder 'scope, as an impromptu soldering-iron) ! Of course, having got the telescope (a 12" Meade LX200) fixed, his own camera stopped working - so although he had a number of wildlife shots (include a few of the scorpions and snakes that try to kill you out there) he had very few astro-photos of his own (but he did show us a fantastic wide-field shot of the Milky Way (5 exposures of 30s, stacked)). So he treated us to a trip across the southern sky, aided by 'Celestia', which turns out to be extremely good at 'planetarium' display, being a lot more 'colourful' than Stellarium, especially when 'travelling to the Planets' and viewing Titan (and Saturn) - although at the Sossusvlei camp it's Stellarium that is used to 'predict' which stars would be visible (and when) each night, especially after Scott generated a 'terrain file' for Stellarium which accurately matched the landscape around the site. He explained how the angles and distances to some of the 150 or so Globular Clusters (containing up to 2 million stars) around our galaxy were used by Harlow Shapley (in 1920) to work out the position of the Solar System within the Milky Way - in particular 47 Tucanae (the second most brightest) which was easily visible from Sossusvlei. Returning to Celestia, he took us on a tour of NGC253 (Sculptor Galaxy), the Tarantula Nebula, the Ring Nebula (M57), NGC 3372 (Carina Nebula) (his favourite), and then back to the Solar System with a view of the volcanoes and the ice plumes on Io (photos from New Horizons probe). He ended his talk with a simulation of the Earth at the Suns 'end of life' Red Giant phase and then with a black hole simulation using 'plug ins' from the 'Cestia Motherload' web site. 'Second half' Tim H. showed us a 'raw' AVI of Jupiter he had taken, and then the Registax result (taking the 'best' 500 of the 1500 frames) = which was a real 'eye-opener' !
Photo: ../Meetings/photos/pia18920-rotating_lg.gifNext he mentioned the DAWN mission, now entering orbit around Ceres, the largest of the objects in the Asteroid belt (and first to be found (in 1801) after prediction of 'a planet between Mars and Jupiter' by Bodes Law).

The first images returned revealed a number of unexpectedly bright 'spots' (see animation, left), associated with craters, possibly the result of impacts uncovering material below the surface)

Ceres animation credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA (see more DAWN images from JPL)

Robin O. displayed the huge (double A2 sized) card created by the (Brownies ?) as a 'thank you' for one of our recent Outreach efforts ! He followed this with a 'Whats in the Sky this month', especially Jupiter (which is almost due south and very easy to spot right now, half-way between the Moon (on the left) and Orion (on the right) and Leo (with a focus on the multiple double stars to be found in Leo, and the 'Leo Triplet' and M95/96/105 NGC3384 group) Venus is also quite high in the early evening sky (along with Mars), to the west. Finally, comet Lovejoy can still be seen in binoculars (just), and is now moving through Cassiopeia (so is easy to find) Saturn will be rising at about 4am this month, so will soon be a viable 'target' for late night observing !
This note last modified: 7th Mar 2015 23:29.

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(+)  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



(+)  7 Jun 2006 agm



(+)  3 Jun 2005 agm



(+)  4 Jun 2004 agm

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