Event Reports


Old Greenwich Observatory, Saturday March 15th.

Family and friends had a great time at Greenwich, where a new science exhibit was recently opened, including a sophisticated planetarium run by Greg Smye-Rumsby. Members arrived at 1259 to see the time ball drop at 1300 Hrs. All the original exhibits are present, the most important being the meridian transit instrument and time displays, and of course the mighty 28" refractor. The day was completed by a special planetarium show and tour of the 28" dome, and some customary heavy rain !

Photos by Martin Andrews: Group photo, and inside the Onion dome.



Meteor Night, Thursday Dec 13th.

Two talks at Braywick Nature Centre were followed by a Geminid meteor watch. Eight children and 30 adults attended the public event. The weather was kind to us (again); although the viewing was cut short by cloud at 9.45 pm. Visitor reported seeing several meteors, one person saw five.

The evening started at 8pm with a short talk on "meteors and meteor impacts". This was followed a break and a second talk on "the sky tonight" which was illustrated by a video DVD of meteors kindly loaned to us by Andrew Elliott, a distinguished amateur who's videos have appeared on the BBC Sky at Night.

There was also a raffle, and the main prize was a piece of genuine meteorite, and a book.

Right : A young visitor asks a question about the meteor shower.

Photo: D. Herron

Members with their telescopes were able to point out some of the features of the December night sky: Mars, Orion Nebula, Pleiades star cluster, and comet Holmes in outburst.


'The lives of stars and people'

Was the title of the public lecture at Maidenhead Town hall on Saturday 30th June which was attended by about 120 people of all ages.

Dr Diego, a professional astronomer and educator from UCL, captivated the audience with his wide knowledge and compelling insight of the known and unknowns of astrophysics. One questioner asked whether the Sun, and every other object in the universe were living entities. Given the evidence, Dr Diego believed that it was extremely unlikely, but admitted that we have a lot to learn about the universe.

In addition to the talk, locals and astronomers took part in the raffle, with prizes kindly donated by Oregon Scientific (Maidenhead), Telescope House, Aurora Books, and Dr Chris Lintott.

A mini exhibition titled "Maidenhead Stargazers" was on display, which included a scale-model of Lassell’s telescope that used to be located in what is now known as Lassell Gardens. Aurora Books provided a book stall and sold pieces of shooting stars, otherwise known as meteorites, that provide a tangible link between us and outer space.

Maidenhead Astronomical Society would like to thank all local businesses that helped to promote the
success of the astronomical society's 50th Anniversary events.

The audience and Dr. Francisco Diego.


50th Anniversary Dinner.

Was held on Friday 8th June at the Norden Farm centre for the arts.
The guest speaker was Dr. Chris Lintott, co-presenter of The Sky At Night.
A great evening & a good time was had by all!

Group photo at Norden Farm, and Dr. Chris Lintott.


500th Meeting!

Was held on Friday 13th April and the guest speaker was Guy Hurst (Editor of The Astronomer) with a talk entitled, "The changing face of amateur astronomy in the last 50 years"

Left: Guy presenting Life Membership to Brian Sellwood. Right: Members of the organising committee.


May 1st Exhibition

An exhibition was held at the Heritage Centre, King Street, Maidenhead - with the title "Maidenhead Stargazers". Photographs described the history of the Society from its formation in April 1957 to the present day.

Left: Part of the exhibition at the Heritage Centre, Right: Outing to Greenwich in ca 1965

Also featured was the story of William Lassell and his great telescopes. A scale model of his 40" Malta reflector could be seen; a smaller version having been build on the Ray Lodge Estate (Maidenhead) in the 1870s. Other displays included star maps, the society's 6" reflector, and images of celestial objects taken my members. The exhibition was generously sponsored by Oregon Scientific.



We were invited to help with cub astronomy badges on May 26th. It rained !

Left: Using a planesphere. Right: "hands on", viewing distant lights.


Total Lunar Eclipse

An eclipse of the moon was enjoyed by about 80 visitors to Braywick Nature Centre on March 3rd. Two short talks preceded the viewing of the eclipse under cloud free skies. We watched the colour of the moon change from a bright white to dull red, as it passed through the Earth's shadow.

Telescopes and binoculars (large and small) were available for a close-up look at the changing cratered scenery.

Visitors enjoy a rare evening of uninterupted stargazing !


Updated Dec 17th, 2007




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