logo
 Home page
 About and Contact
 Meetings
 Beginners and FAQ
 Observing
 Outreach & Events
 Eclipses
 Sky this month
 Weather
 Photo Competition
 Links
 Members (login)
Random tip: If 'rain prevents play', we are known to drown our sorrows at the local pub !LookingUp logo
 [(top)] [Next Meeting]  [Most recent Meeting]  [2017/16] [2016/15] [2015/14] [2014/13] [2013/12] [2012/11] [2011/10] [2010/09] [2009 and older]
'>
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 :

(+)  1 Feb 2019 Ask the expert - (members panel)

(+)  1 Mar 2019 The Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) - (Dr)

(+)  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 :-) )

(+)  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

8th May 2015 (2nd Friday, avoids May 1st Bank Holiday) - Talks by various members Steve B started with an overview of the Web site, especially the recently relaunched Members pages, most of which are now 'up and running'. With a focus on the History of MAS pages we discovered one unexpected 'old boy' in the audience who confessed that 'he was the youth in shorts' who appears in a group photo taken during a Society visit to Greenwich in mid 1961 (members can find that photo here) Steve finished with an appeal for copies of any old (1957-2009) photos members might have taken during Society events, so these can be added to our History pages and not be lost (or disappear into 'the cloud', the eventual grave of all material posted to 'social media' sites) Tim H took the stage next, starting with some slides explaining how to keep an 'Astro Observers Log' = a physical paper notebook which will survive any amount of power cuts and computer disk crashes. To illustrate the point, he showed a 2" loose leaf binder filled with notes from his own observing dating back to the 1970's (or ?). He concluded this part of his talk by recommending an 'observing note book' he had already prepared to the current user of the Society Telescope. Ed. The 1970-80's saw the introduction of the first computers, with files stored on 8" floppy disks (1971), 5 1/4" floppy (from 1977, introduced with the Apple ][ ) and 3.5" (1983). I wonder who can still access any of the files written on computers of those days and 'saved' to floppy disk ? (and who even remembers the 3" floppy disk used by the Amstrad PCW, the first affordable Word Processor, introduced in 1986 ?) Photo: ../Meetings/photos/n3561_atik_220415_cut.jpgTim then continued his session with a look at the Galaxy Cluster Abell 1185, Arp 150 the "Guitar" and Ambartsumians-knot, a deep sky object found in Ursa Major approx 430MLY away. George Abell (1927-1983) was an American astronomer who examined the photographic plates from the Palomar Sky Survey of the 1950s. He identified areas where galaxies clustered together, and, in 1958 published a list of over 4,000 galaxy clusters. He added another 1,000 clusters (visible from the southern hemisphere) later. Abell's catalog is still in use with astronomers today. Tim imaged this region (photo right) with his 30cm telescope (10 x 2min stacked exposures with his ATIK 314L+ camera). Ed. Tim's original has been rotated and cropped to better 'match' this reference image taken with the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, a 3.6 meter optical/infrared instrument

Alun H then treated us to a video sequences of his best images set to music ! We were particularly impressed with his movie clips of the Sun, especially the Solar Mass Ejection sequences taken in Hydrogen Alpha light using his (SolarMax ?) scope. The music used was 'This is the Doctor' (from "Dr Who at the Prom's", if I am not mistaken). Until the Members Gallery photos are restored to the website, Alun's photos can be found on Flickr. Hopefully, Members will be able to find his video on the Members only pages in due course Ed. Alun H was perhaps inspired by 'Kingsleys Cosmos' by one of our past members, Bruce K, which can be seen on YouTube. Percy K was next up with some slides extolling the virtues of small telescopes for "Convenient Observing" (the title of his talk). He made the point that you don't need a 'mega telescope', especially not when observing 'in the field' where portability becomes even more important. A 70-80mm refractor is all you need to see the planets (except Uranus) and all the Messier objects (see here) a list of 110 'non-comet' catalogued by Charles Messier in 1758 () - the real enthusiast might like to try for all 110 in one night, an attempt known as a Messier Marathon Ed. the best chance to see all 110 in one night from UK is apparently during the March new Moon each year, so we have missed it for 2015, although Percy might want to start planning now for 2016 ! All observing works best if you have a solid tripod. Whilst many guided and 'goto' tripods cost more than the actual telescope mounted on them, all you need is a firm Alt-Az ('camera' style tripod) that won't move around too much in the wind and need cost no more than 100 (some very good ones can be had 2nd hand in the 90 region). Percy demonstrated this with one of his own (which dwarfed the telescope mounted on it !) In addition to a small telescope and various eyepieces (Tip - use a small child's sock to keep each eyepiece dry and avoid unwieldy plastic cases) Percy also recommends the use of filters to reduce the 'glare' from the Moon and bright stars when trying to view their faint companions (such as Sirius B, the Dog Star's 'pup'). Coloured filters can also help to enhance the 'contrast' of features on the Moon (which is one reason why a dark Green filter is typically used), Saturn and Jupiter (for more on Filters, see our Beginners and FAQ guide). A mention was made of low powered binoculars, with their consequent wide fields of view which are becoming popular as simple 'aids to naked eye object observing', although most of us will have to wait for a "Chinese copy" of the astronomically priced href"http://www.firstlightoptics.com/vixen-binoculars/vixen-sg21x42-widefield-binoculars.html">Vixen 2.1x42 before we can try them out) After the break Robin O delivered his now traditional 'Whats Up' guide to the coming months best observing objects along with a 'constellation of the month'. The full Moon was on 4th May so the last quarter will be on the 11th. The new Moon is best observed in Taurus from the 18th. Mercury is now very well placed, some 20 degrees above the horizon (max was on the 7th) and easily found looking due West from Winter Hill at sunset. Jupiter is also well positioned (found between Leo and Cancer) with Saturn starting to rise in Libra from 8pm. Comet Lovejoy is nearing Polaris but is now a binocular / telescope object only. Robins "Constellation the month" was Bootes (very easy to locate as it's bright central star Arcturus is the first bright star you see by following the 'handle' of Ursa major 'downward and to the left'). The Stellarium script (especially slowed down upon request) can be found here (NOTE this is best viewed with Stellarium 12.4, not later). Just to show that even the most experienced can be 'tripped up', when Robin expressed his frustration at the sky rotation produced by the Stellarium 'script' when jumping 'day at a time' to follow the path of comet Lovejoy, Tim noted that the time-line was jumping in Solar day steps (rather the Sidereal days  :-) ) = so Stellarium was correct after all !
This note last modified: 30th Oct 2016 18:11.

[top]

(+) 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



(+)  7 Jun 2006 agm



(+)  3 Jun 2005 agm



(+)  4 Jun 2004 agm

[top]