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 :
(+) 4 Feb 2022 Ask an Expert - (by Members)
(+) 1 Apr 2022 Saturn - (Michael Foulkes)
(+) 10 Jun 2022 MAS 65th AGM - (NOTE 2nd Friday)
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 :-) )
(+) 7 Jan 2022 Telescope Parade and informal equipment discussion - (by Members)
(+) 3 Dec 2021 Christmas Quiz set by members - (followed by Social Evening)
(+) 5 Nov 2021 CANCELLED - (Hall closed)
(+) 1 Oct 2021 Dark Nebulae - (Owen Brazell)
(+) 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)
Friday, 3rd June 2015, MAS 59th AGM
Notes by Steve
1) Annual General Meeting and election of next seasons Committee.
1. Attendees and apologies
2. Approval of Minutes
3. Matters Arising from 2015 Minutes
4. Chairmanís Report
5. Membership Secretary report
6. Treasurer Report
7. Meetings Secretary Report
8. Election of Officers
9. Voluntary Roles
1. Attendees and apologies
A number of members unable to attend sent their apologies
2. Approval of Minutes & 3.Matters Arising from 2015 Minutes
Last years minutes reported 60 members, the actual number was 59. Since the minutes were circulated quite late and some members present admitted they had not read them, the minutes were approved subject to that any changes being reported to the Chair by Monday next.
4. Chairmanís Report
The Chair thanked everyone for their efforts over the past year, especially the Outreach team. She noted that we were unable to hold a Stargazing Live event in 2016 (mainly due to getting only 6 days notice from the BBC). The plan for 2017 is to fix our own Stargazing event date in advance (and hope the BBC date would be 'sometime similar').
The Members visit to Mullard Radio Observatory (see report below) was well attended and a similar event would be planned for next year.
5. Membership Secretary report
During the year we gained 11 new members, however 10 previous memberships lapsed, so our overall total is now 60 (1 up on last year).
Meeting attendance was up with an average of 45 (v's last year 41) and a maximum of 54 attending the Universe in Multiple Wavelengths / Gravity Waves talk. We also had a good year for Guests, a total of 33 (v's 11 last year) attending our various meetings.
Members are reminded that the MAS eMail 'spam rejection' filter operates on a 'White List' basis = i.e. it only accepts email from members registered addresses.
6. Treasurers' Report
Due to a number of 'one off' outgoings, the Society made a slight loss last year, however our financial situation overall is healthy. No change in membership fees is proposed. The accounts were presented and approved.
7. Meetings Secretary Report
Many thanks to members who delivered talks during the year - however more volunteers are required for next year, as we only have speakers for the first 3 meetings so far.
Next years Meeting dates are being finalised and all will be 'first Friday', with the possible exception of December (as usual).
The Webmaster admitted that he had not prepared a report.
The Publicity Officer, being unable to attend the Meeting, had submitted a Report.
Facebook: In July 2015 we set up a Maidenhead Astronomical Facebook page. This is primarily to establish a social media presence and to advertise events and meetings or to relay information to members and non-members. It is an addition to our website, which should remain the primary source of information, and it is also linked to the MAS Twitter account.
The account has 44 likes; these 'followers' should automatically receive updates to their timeline as they are posted. Visitors to the page will see posts if they actively seek them out. If any followers share them, they will be seen by their Facebook friends, thus widening our society's exposure.
On average each post reaches around some 30 individuals with some notable exceptions:
a Lunar Eclipse status (26.9.15) reached 107 people;
a Big Bang status (2.11.15) reached 124 people;
a Jupiter status (23.2.15) reached 86 people.
Astronomy Now: Our club now is featured in their AstroListing Section
MADAC: We advertise ourselves via their webpage, and/or their Facebook page, as well as their Christmas Door Drop leaflet which was to reach 60,000 households.
Enjoy Maidenhead: Advertised via their bulletin and website
Maidenhead Advertiser: In print (our Outreach activities were featured 3 times during the year) and via their on-line newspaper
Around the Royal Borough: via the newsletter
We held a number of public and non-public events, although frustratingly many were either postponed, cancelled or curtailed due to unfavourable weather conditions.
Perseid Observation at Ockwells Park on 11.8.15
Solar Scope Viewing at Norden Farm on 29.8.15
Astronomy Trip on 24.10.15 (Members only - see details below)
Leonid Observation at Ockwells Park on 18.11.15
Geminid Observation at Ockwells Park on 12.12.15
Transit of Mercury at Ockwells Park on 9.5.16
Report on our Astronomical Trip
The Maidenhead Astronomical Society trip was to the Cavendish Laboratory, at Cambridge University at the Lord's Bridge Site on 24.10.16. This is home to the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory. 19 members booked on to the tour which was hosted by Peter Doherty. During this visit we were shown a number of large aperture synthesis radio telescopes, including the One-Mile Telescope, 5-km Ryle Telescope, and the Arcminute Microkelvin Imager (AMI). We also saw Jocelyn Bell's office. A full report was written by Steve B. and is can be found here. After the tour we headed into Cambridge for some free time.
8. Election of Officers and 9. Voluntary Roles
As is customary, the existing Committee resigned and asked for nominations from the floor.
Each outgoing Committee member was nominated to stand again and each accepted nomination. As there were no other nominations, no voting was needed.
10.1 Proposed (by member): "The Librarian shall be provided with an annual grant of eg £20 for the purchase of books or other items connected with the library. The Librarian shall report purchases to the committee for the Treasurerís report."
The Librarian was reluctant to commit to a specific budget. So, following a discussion between the Librarian, Committee and members present, it was agreed that members (and the Librarian) would all put forward recommendations direct to the Committee. Upon agreement, the committee would then arrange the actual purchase.
10.2 Proposed by Publicity Officer: "For 2016/17, put together some sort of flyer/poster/leaflet that could be distributed at e.g the library, Maidenhead Heritage Centre, the leisure centre etc."
Agreed - contributions / material to Publicity Officer
10.3 From the floor: Can we clarify the Insurance situation wrt Society Solarscope ? (this is used extensively for Outreach and, given the many children attending such events, there is some danger of accidental damage)
10.3a (follow on) - do we need to budget for a tracking mount for the Solarscope ?
It was noted that the current mount is old and only working in Polar axis, so will need replacing sooner or later. If a suitable mount is found (eg eBay) it will be considered
10.3b (follow on) - the Solarscope needs a decent eyepiece
One of the Members present offered a 13mm Plossl at nominal cost, which was accepted
10.4 There will be a Spectroscopy workshop for Members only on July 2 (details will be sent to Members via email)
10.5 It was noted that the Society Projector is rather old and is not very 'colour accurate'.
Replacement will be considered by the Committee during the coming year
2) Results of the Members Photo Competition
Judging was by a panel independent of MAS. Results can be found on our Photo Competition web page.
Note - the next Members Photo Competition starts now, closing date is May 2017
All our indoor Meetings are open to the public, however non-members are asked to make a contribution of £2 toward the hall hire costs (this may be collected by Fred, our Membership Secretary, at the door on arrival, or left at the 'Tea hatch' at half time).
Note - whilst our AGM is open to the public, non-members are not entitled to vote.
This note last modified: 11th Jun 2019 10:38.
(+) 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
(+) 6 Jun 2008 agm
(+) 1 Jun 2007 agm
(+) 7 Jun 2006 agm
(+) 3 Jun 2005 agm
(+) 4 Jun 2004 agm