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 :
(+) 2 Dec 2022 Xmas Social Photo Comp and Quiz - (set by members)
(+) 6 Jan 2023 Telescope Parade - (by members)
(+) 3 Feb 2023 The Galaxy without a dark side - (Barry Kellett)
(+) 3 Mar 2023 TBA
(+) 7 Apr 2023 TBA
(+) 5 May 2023 Pioneers of spectroscopy - (Jack Martin)
(+) 2 Jun 2023 MAS 66th AGM - (Annual General Meeting)
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 Nov 2022 Exploration of Jupiter - (Dr Mike Legett)
(+) 7 Oct 2022 The Lunar 100 - (Dr Lilian Hobbs)
(+) 2 Sep 2022 InfraRed Astronomy - (Dr Eric Dunford)
(+) 10 Jun 2022 MAS 65th AGM - (NOTE 2nd Friday)
(+) 6 May 2022 Gravitational Waves - (Joshua Pooley)
(+) 1 Apr 2022 Saturn - (Michael Foulkes)
(+) 4 Mar 2022 Update on the Exploration of Mars - (Jim House)
(+) 4 Feb 2022 What Astronomy Tells Us About The Origins of Life On Earth ? - (James Hough)
(+) 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)
Friday, 4th June 2021 - MAS 63rd AGM
Minutes by Chairman Matt
Matt opened the meeting by commenting on how the year had been very trying due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions but, perseverance (intentional pun) had allowed the society to continue as an on line entity. Matt thanked David H. for his work in sorting out Zoom as a tool to facilitate meetings and arranging speakers. Matt noted that, before the AGM, the society had held 9 on line meetings.
Matt also thanked Tim H. for setting up the societies groups.io page, a discussion group that allowed members to keep in contact, seek and share knowledge and to write of their ongoing activity. At the time of the meeting there were over 40 members signed up to the group.
Matt indicated that the next meeting of the society would be Friday 3rd September 2021. It was his intention to return the society to in person meetings at The Saltau Centre, Stubbings at that time if government guidelines permitted. He will keep abreast of any changes and seek consensus nearer the time.
Jim H, treasurer, explained that the society still had over £1100 in the bank and that we may be owed a credit by The Saltau Centre for monies paid in advance of the lockdown.
Jim explained that, due to there being limited income from the preceding year, the balance of our account had shrunk. A larger balance would be prudent to cover eventualities such as fees for public events attended by the society etc. Two options were suggested, a one off £20 donation or increasing the annual subscriptions to £20 for members, £30 for families and £15 for concessions.
Fred suggested the increase, Steve B seconded this. The motion was carried.
Membership and outreach Report
Fred C. explained that Zoom had enabled meetings to continue and there had been an average of 20 members logging in to the Zoom meetings and a total of 14 guests. The society had gained 10 new members- a family of 5 and 5 individuals. 3 members had resigned and one had passed away. The current establishment of the society was 76 members. Fred said that some members were not likely to return at the commencement of the new season.
Outreach wise, Covid-19 restrictions had really impacted outreach activity but the team had successfully conducted 3 on line sessions. Matt expressed his thanks to all of the team for their continuing efforts.
David H., meetings sec., said that holding our meetings on Zoom had allowed him to cast his net for speakers further afield than would normally be possible as there was no travelling time restrictions etc. He indicated that over the year, the cost of speakers had been between £20 and £70 per event plus £14 per month Zoom subscriptions. David continues to research speakers ready for the new season.
Catering and Publicity Report
Lesley M. catering and publicity, was unable to join the meeting due to a prior engagement (Happy Birthday Lesley!) but sent a written report for the meeting, shown below.
Report for years 2019/20 and 2020/21
Thanks to everyone who brings their own cups to meetings, this has been extremely helpful with over 70% doing so. This means that we have not had to purchase any more polystyrene cups and still have enough stock to last us a while. Teas and coffees continue to be self-funding with payments covering the cost of supplies and a small surplus, so I see no reason to increase the amount charged.
On Publicity, we received the good news that we have been approved for a Blue Plaque for William Lassell in February 2020, shortly after the we went into Covid shut down and I heard nothing from them until March 2021. They are hoping to go ahead with the plaque this year and we need to get back to the council about what we want included on it, they have sent a template and it is quite restrictive so this needs consideration.
We have not had any public events in 2020 but in the summer of 2019 we attend the Maidenhead Festival and Cookham Regatta and had intended do so again, but due to the shutdown these did not take place. However we have had contact from Cookham Regatta who are planning to go ahead in September and we are planning to attend if they do. We were planning a public event at White Waltham in April 2020 which also had to be cancelled; we still hope to do this late in 2021.
I was able to acquire a very good quality gazebo from a charity that was closing its office in Maidenhead for a fraction of its original cost. This will serve us very well when attending public events in the future.
We have held over the photo competition, but please save any pictures you have as we will announce a closing date and arrangements once we can meet again.
Matt explained that recruiting committee members was very difficult without face to face meetings so he had enquired of the committee as it stood if they were willing to continue for the forthcoming year. No one had indicated they were not. Matt had also asked the membership if anyone had an interest in standing for election. No one had responded so, Matt proposed that the committee be elected to continue as was, if thatw as constitutional. There were no objections to this proposal so the motion was carried and your committee continues in its current form for the new season. Matt thanked the committee for sticking with it and supporting him and the society in its activities.
Any Other Business.
1) Kristina asked if we could continue to use Zoom at the Saltau Centre to bring in speakers from further afield.
David H thought this was an interesting idea and that we would need to research if the centres broadband/ wireless was up to it. Robin O suggested a portable 5G router as an option but they would need a subscription. David H said he would check with the centre to see if they were planning an upgrade as a result of all the fibre optic infrastructure work that has been taking place recently. Andy T commented that Zoom subscriptions plus router fees and speaker fees would soon become expensive.
2) A question was asked about making recordings of our Zoom talks accessible.
David H said they were currently stored on his computer. David M commented that it may be possible to upload them to a private Youtube page that only society members could access.
3) Kristina asked if anyone was looking after our Facebook page.
It was noted that Guy B used to look after the page but he was no longer active in the society. Kristina suggested we close the page. The consensus was that this should happen.
4) Andy followed up on a prior enquiry from Matt about having a presence at Ockwells Park for the 10th June partial eclipse. It was decided that this would not happen due to social distancing and sanitising of equipment concerns.
5) Joanna asked about the potential of having a presence at Ockwells for the Perseid meteor shower in August.
It was noted that as this would not need optics, sanitising was not an issue and social distancing if still required would be easily maintained. Enquiries would be made to see what was needed the gain access to the park area after hours.
With no further matters to discuss, Matt closed the meeting.
Thanks everyone for sticking with us over this particularly awkward and challenging year or so. I hope we can all get together again in September but, in the meantime, Clear Skies to you all, have a great summer and, as Maggie and Chris are wont to say, Keep Looking Up.
Matt L. Chairman, Maidenhead Astronomical Society.
All our Meetings are held on-line using ZOOM. Members of the public wishing to take part are invited to use the link found on the 'About and Contact' page
This note last modified: 16th Jun 2021 11:59.
(+) 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
(+) 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