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MAS observing reports

MAS observing reports

  Planned Observing  

Details of future planned events are restricted to those open to the general public (Members should look in the Members Only section for details of any future events not open to the public - which includes most of our local Outreach activities (schools, cubs, brownies etc)

Reports are listed in date order, next planned first. Be aware that dates can change (usually due to the weather :-) ) so please check nearer the event before making a journey (or check our Twitter feed, details on the previous page)

  Observing Reports  

The rest of this page is dedicated to observing reports and aimed at bringing an awareness and appreciation of astronomy to the general public.

(+) 20 Apr 2018 Lyrids - (from Cookham Dean)

(+) 12 Aug 2017 Perseid Meteor Watch - (Ockwells Park)

(+) 26 May 2017 Dorney Common - (observing report)

(+) 17 Oct 2015 (to 23rd) Orionids Meteor shower

(+) 28 Sep 2015 Super Moon and Lunar Eclipse

(+)  5 Jun 2015 Cookham Dean (after monthly meeting)

(+) 21 Mar 2015 StarGazing Live 2015 - (see Events)

(+) 15 Nov 2014 Public observing and meteor watch at Braywick

(+)  7 Nov 2014 Cookham Dean

(+) 25 Oct 2014 Lunar occultation of Saturn

(+) 11 Oct 2014 Cookham Dean

(+)  3 Oct 2014 Cookham Dean (after monthly meeting)

(+) 10 Aug 2014 Supermoon and Perseids at Ockwells

(+)  3 Jan 2014 Cookham Dean

(+) 13 Jul 2013 Cookham Dean

(+) 13 Feb 2013 Asteroid 2012DA14 closest approach

(-)  6 Jun 2012 Second Transit of Venus

6 June 2012 Observing report, 6 June 2012, 04.45 - 06.00am @ Dorney Reach (second transit of the 2004/2-12 Transit pair) Steve wrote: Having missed the first of this pair (2004), and knowing the next pair (2117/2152) would not be visible from UK, this really was a 'once in a life-time' opportunity I didn't want to miss ! When my alarm went off at "stupid O'Clock" I looked out of the window and almost decided to go back to sleep. However I checked the BBC 'weather report' on the web to find they were claiming that the clouds were clearing over Maidenhead, so away we went ! Of course, when we arrived at the Dorney car park we actually found about 100% coverage - and it didn't look good since there was no sign of it clearing when we got to the hill. Photo: ../Observing/photos/2012_Venus_transit_photo.jpg
At the bottom of the hill I found we were not the first to arrive, however we were told nothing had been seen except 100% cloud so we had not missed anything yet. We all walked to the top anyway, and set up our gear. After 30 mins or so I was checking my watch thinking that another half an hour of cloud and we would have missed it all (last contact would be about 5.54am).

Our perseverance was rewarded when, by some miracle, 10 mins or so later (at about 5.35am) the clouds broke up just enough toward the Sun for me to grab a few quick photos near the end of the Transit (click on the thumbnail, for a larger version) before it clouded over again

Note my tripod, perched on the side of the hill, was 'off level' so the angle of the Transit in the photo is 'out' by some degrees

Photo: ../Observing/photos/2012_Venus_transit_team.jpg
Percy wrote: At last I have been able to get to my computer. What a start to the day. But first, I must thank everyone who turned up at the un-godly hour to watch an inner solar system planet traverse across the face of the Sun. Thanks go to David, Steve, Georgina (thank you for the carriage of my tripod - there and back), Des and Harry.

The enthusiastic attendance made the not so fantastic Venus transit, worthwhile. My alarm went off at 03:00hrs. I awoke and lay in my bed for a couple of minutes, wondering if I had lost my marbles. Then it dawned on me, it was Venus Transit today. One would normally be fired up for such an event. But, I was finding it hard to light the pilot. Anyway, I got motivated and dressed for work, as thats where I would be after the transit. At 04:00hrs, I loaded up the car which took two minutes. Drove down toward Dorney past Sainsbury. I noticed a car, driving rather rapidly, travelling in the direction of where I was heading. I caught up with the car as it pulled into the designated car park. Photo: ../Observing/photos/2012_venus_transit_cameras.jpgIt was David, I was greeted with the comment, "you're late". I said "Hello, it is only 04:15hrs'. The two of us inspected the skies and feared, it was not a favourable day for transits of any kind. But, we did notice the moon was in the clearing before a thick blanket of cloud covered it over.

I set up my little Questar Birder, a 90mm Maksutov and just spent some time before the others arrived. Steve and Georgina arrived at around 04:45hrs. We got our gear together and marched enthusiastically toward the trig point/hill.

Along our route we came across flooded paths and wet grass, this was over-come with some clever thinking and jumping like springboks. We went up the hill and found the trig point offered us some dry standing room away from the wet 2 feet of tiger grass. As we were setting up, Des was spotted, making his way up the hill. We set up our transit gear as follows; Steve had his Canon 350 DSLR set up on a tripod, Georgina had brought along palm sized birding binoculars made by Carl Zeiss Jena. She was also using the insides of some old pc floppy discs as solar filter for naked eye viewing ! Members of MAS who turned out for the first Transit of this 'pair' in 2004 (see report) had very much better weather ! Unfortunately, the next Venus Transit pair of 1011 December 2117 and December 2125 will not be visible from UK
This note last modified: 27th Feb 2016 13:10.


(+)  6 May 2012 Cookham Dean

(+) 21 Mar 2012 Lyrids

(+)  8 Oct 2011 Draconids

(+) 23 Sep 2011 Cookham Dean

(+)  2 Sep 2011 Cookham Dean

(+) 22 Aug 2011 Comet Garradd

(+) 11 Aug 2011 Perseids

(+)  8 Apr 2011 Cookham Dean

(+)  8 Jun 2004 First Transit of venus

(+) 16 Jul 1994 Shoemaker Levy 9 (from Arnes garden)

(+) 10 May 1994 Eclipse from Winter Hill

(+)  3 Jun 1989 Occultation of Sigma Sgr by Saturn