We are back at our normal venue from 3rd Sept. 2021
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 ! )
During the COVID-19 restrictions, all meetings are being held on-line using ZOOM. Meetings are normally held at the Church Hall (aka 'The Soltau Center') of St James-the-Less, Stubbings, Maidenhead SL6 6QW, from 7.30 (for a ZOOM link, or 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 Oct 2021 Dark Nebulae - (Owen Brazell)
(+) 5 Nov 2021 What astronomy can tell us about the origins of life on Earth - (James Hough)
(+) 3 Dec 2021 Christmas Quiz set by members - (followed by Social Evening)
(+) 7 Jan 2022 Telescope Parade and informal equipment discussion - (by Members)
(+) 4 Feb 2022 Ask an Expert - (by Members)
(+) 1 Apr 2022 Saturn - (Michael Foulkes)
(+) 3 Jun 2022 MAS 65th 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 Sep 2021 How we reached the Moon - (Jerry Stone)
(+) 4 Jun 2021 63rd AGM (ZOOM on line meeting)
(+) 7 May 2021 Milestones in Astronomy - (Rod Hine (ZOOM on line meeting))
(+) 2 Apr 2021 The Red Sun - (Lyn Smith (ZOOM on line meeting))
(+) 5 Mar 2021 Tour of the Universe - (Jane Green (ZOOM on line meeting))
(+) 5 Feb 2021 Space Vehicles - (Graham Bryant (ZOOM on line meeting))
(+) 8 Jan 2021 The Astronomer's Toolkit - (Dr Lee Anne Willson (ZOOM on line meeting))
(+) 4 Dec 2020 Xmas Quiz - (set by members (ZOOM on line meeting))
(+) 6 Nov 2020 The Monster in the Crab - (Gary Poyner (ZOOM on line meeting))
(+) 2 Oct 2020 Is there anyone out there ? - (Bob Mizon (ZOOM on line meeting))
(+) 4 Sep 2020 Two eyes are better than one - (Stephen Tonkin (ZOOM on line meeting))
(+) 5 Jun 2020 COVID19 Postponed MAS 62nd AGM
(+) 1 May 2020 COVID19 Postponed The Monster in the Crab - (Gary Poyner)
(+) 3 Apr 2020 COVID19 meeting 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
5 June 2015, MAS 58th AGM, summary
(the full report is in the Members Only section)
* Susan notes that members are making good effects to socialise and get to know one another, especially at some of our recent events.
* Although we have seen very few meteors at our Meteor Watch events, we will continue to hold them (Perseids and Geminids will be coming soon).
* This year we held a Telescope Workshop followed by our Star Gazing Live. Numbers at the Workshop were low, however those who did attend were most appreciative. The SGL event in the evening suffered from a combination of poor publicity support from the BBC and bad weather - however our Outreach efforts are in massive demand, averaging about two events per month !
* During the last year we delivered 26 outreach events (recently we delivered 3 in one week !), a result, we think, of our attendance at the Brownie Centenary, which was followed by lots of enquiries. With the Societies new Solar scope, our summer Outreach program will reach new heights !
* So that all members have a chance to use the Solarscope, the Outreach 'team' will host a special 'Sun observing' event TBA.
Details of our Outreach efforts can be found on the Events page
Membership Secretaries report:
* Membership is up on the year, with 20+ new members joining and only 14 leaving, we have now reached a total of 90.
* Average attendance at our meetings was 43, up from 39 last year.
* The 'Buddy' system (so new members have a 'designated' contact at MAS) proposed and approved last year has not 'taken off'. Older (i.e. longer serving) members are urged to 'volunteer' and not leave it all to the Committee.
* A proposal to change the mailing list 'group names' (to reduce confusion) did not receive approval by the membership.
* The Baylis Trust 'community grant' toward our Outreach activities was 'matched' with Society funds and used to purchase a Solarscope.
* Ignoring the impact of this 'one off' cost, the Societies funds are still slightly down on the year, however Membership fees still cover our normal activities
* No increase in Membership fees is proposed.
Meetings Secretary report:
* During the year we have been lucky to get some very good speakers, most of whom have only asked for expenses !
* Especially well received was the presentation on UKMON and the talk on icebergs and the Titanic.
* A 'thank you' to those members who stepped forward at the last moment to deliver mini-talks - you can look forward to the rest of the Occultations talk in the future !
* By now everyone will have heard of our 'hacking' problems and the clear-up that followed. All the public pages are back and 'working' as they should, as are most of members pages (with the exception of the Photo-Gallery).
* Efforts continue to be focused on improving the Public pages - for example, a link to the MAS 'Twitter' account (MaidenheadAstro) has been added to the 'Observing' page and the FAQ/Beginners pages have been 'consolidated' with plenty of room for more 'mini' How-To write-ups from members.
* Since January, the most visited page was 'Events' (13,239), followed by 'Home Page' (6,429) and 'Meetings' (5,629). The least visited was 'Links' (380) followed by 'Observing' (442). To date, only 27 members have 'registered' for the 'members only' pages - all are encouraged to do so !
Susan F stood down from her '2nd hat' post of Publicity Officer and Kristina M was elected (Susan will assist). Other than this, members of the existing committee had agreed to stand again and were re-elected unopposed on a simple show of hands.
Following suggestions made during the meeting, members can now find 'mug shots' of the Committee on the Members Home Page
1) Tim - the Society 8" Newtonian telescope needs work. The mirror is fine but the focus assembly needs replacing (a replacement mechanism is available) and there is no mount for it (the proposal is to turn it into a Dobsonian). Volunteer to contact Tim please !
2) The new members 'Starter Pack' (.dpf, found on the Members Home Page) needs updating. Fred to take charge (Tim to generate additional material)
3) Information (see twitter feed)
- Collins Astronomical books can be found on their website at a discount better than Amazon's (Ed. - I found their 'ad' on Facebook - "50% off" however it's beyond me how to get from this to any 'offer' on their website)
- MADAC 'Art of the Street' next weekend (we don't have a stand, feedback reqd.)
4) Regular Observing sessions - will continue, Percy to advise dates/times
5) Outreach - should we have a 'feedback' form (suggestions re: content to Robin) ?
6) Constitution - are changes needed (eg replace 'Chairman' with 'Chairperson' ? might have to consider this, although Susan, Chair, says she does not want to be called a 'Chairperson' :-) )
7) A number of suggestions were put to the webmaster re: improvemnets to the website (add photo's of the Committee, remove some material from public view)
Tim gave a short presentation of his recent mirror cleaning and Newtonian tube 'flocking' experiences (which, despite all his efforts, he reports had no noticeable effect on performance !)
Robin delivered a rather longer "What's Up" than normal, since it had to cover the next 3 months. Members are warned that Venus and Jupiter will soon be 'setting' so they should get in some observing before the end of the month ! Even Saturn is sinking - it's due S. at 11pm this month and very low to the horizon - by end of Aug. it will be gone. Things to look for - Vega in Lyra, M57, the 'double double', Deneb in Cygnus, and the Summer triangle. The Stellarium script used will be posted to the web site (TBA).
Members are reminded that the New Horizons probe arrives at Pluto in mid July.
This note last modified: 11th Jun 2019 10:37.
(+) 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
(+) 1 Jun 2007 agm
(+) 7 Jun 2006 agm
(+) 3 Jun 2005 agm
(+) 4 Jun 2004 agm