making astronomy accessible to all

All regular meetings are open to members and visitors, held on the second and last Friday of each month, except August and at Christmas, when there are no meetings. Unless otherwise stated, meetings normally open at 7:50pm for an 8pm start, finishing around 10pm.

Covid precautions:
• Please do not to attend if you have tested positive in the last week or have COVID symptoms
• Please use the hand sanitisers that will be provided
• Please respect other Members' requests regarding social distancing

Click here for further details

The Christmas Social - MEMBERS ONLY - FREE ENTRY
Bredhurst Village Hall

An opportunity to get together for a few fun activities, including (astro)bingo, a raffle and our usual socialising session. Please bring your own pencil for the bingo!

We look forward to seeing you in your party hats to get the festive season underway. There will be free hot sausage rolls and warm mince pies.

Colin Stuart - A Universe of Infinities
Bredhurst Village Hall

Infinity is a notoriously tricky concept to juggle with. It’s not even really a number and yet it seems to crop up time and again when
astronomers try to understand our universe.
Did the universe start from an infinitely small speck? Can the universe really be infinitely big? Can there be infinitely many universes in an infinitely big multiverse? Find out in this talk.

Colin Stuart

Colin Stuart is an astronomy author and speaker who has talked to well over a quarter of a million people about the universe, ranging from schools and the public to conferences and businesses. His books have sold more than 100,000 copies worldwide and he's written over 150 popular science articles for publications including The Guardian, New Scientist, BBC Focus and the European Space Agency.

In 2014 he was awarded runner-up in the European Astronomy Journalism Prize and is also a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. He's talked about the wonders of the universe on Sky News, BBC News and Radio 5Live and been quoted in national newspapers including The Daily Telegraph and The Observer. His TED video on time travel has been viewed over 2 million times.

His other adventures have seen him climb the biggest radio telescope in the UK, stargaze from the Sahara desert and abseil his old school’s science block for charity.


Stephen Wilkins - A tale of two telescopes: JWST and Euclid
Bredhurst Village Hall

The culmination of decades of effort by scientists and engineers across the world, JWST launched on Christmas Day 2021 and commenced scientific observations a little less than a year ago. In this time JWST’s exquisite sensitivity, resolution, and wavelength coverage has enabled astronomers to explore our Universe as never before. We’ve now peered through clouds of gas and dust to observe stars and planets forming, analysed the atmospheres of alien planets, and discovered galaxies present when the Universe was only a tiny fraction of its age.

In 2023 JWST was joined by ESA’s Euclid satellite. While smaller, and thus less sensitive, Euclid has a much larger field-of-view ultimately allowing it to survey around 1/3 of the entire sky with Hubble quality imaging. Euclid’s capabilities will allow it to map out structures across the Universe allowing us to better understand the mysterious dark matter and dark energy.

In this talk Stephen will introduce both JWST and Euclid and present some of insights from JWST so far.

Dr Stephen Wilkins

Born and raised in Yorkshire, Stephen completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Durham before gains his doctorate from to the University of Cambridge. Stephen then moved to Oxford where he worked as research fellow. In 2013 Stephen was appointed a lecturer in astronomy at the University of Sussex an is now a Reader and Head of Astronomy.
Stephen is the Astronomer in Residence at The Observatory Science Centre.


Peter Grimley - The European Southern Observatory: over 60 years at the cutting edge of astronomy
Bredhurst Village Hall

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) was established in 1962 to provide astronomers in Europe with access to the southern skies by operating an observatory in Chile's Atacama Desert, via an agreement with the government of Chile. Its five founding Member States have now grown to sixteen, including the UK, which joined in 2002. Since its inception ESO has been at the forefront of technological and engineering development and it now operates a suite of telescopes on three sites, alongside a number of hosted instruments located at ESO's observatory sites. ESO is currently building the biggest telescope ever constructed - the ELT. In this talk I will describe ESO, its history and some of the cutting-edge instruments it now operates, and I will highlight just a few of the remarkable discoveries made with those facilities.

Dr. Jeni Millard - Topic TBC
Bredhurst Village Hall

Dr Jeni Millard

Jeni Millard is an astrophysicist and science communicator and Hon. President of the Barry Astronomical Society. She was awarded her Ph.D. by Cardiff University in 2021. Her thesis was entitled “The 'stuff' between the stars : on the evolution of the interstellar medium in the real and simulated universe”.
While continuing her research during the pandemic/lockdown she became increasing interested in sharing her passion for astronomy with a wider audience and became writer and host of the popular “Awesome Astronomy” podcast. She is also Managing Editor of Fifth Star Labs “Sky Guide” App and is a science presenter for BBC1 Wales’ “Weatherman Walking” series.
Other than astronomy, Jeni's interests include films and exploring places in the U.K.


Doug Edworthy, FRAS - All you need to know about telescopes!
Bredhurst Village Hall

This presentation will suit novices and experienced telescope users alike and will help those thinking of investing in new equipment or upgrading existing systems..
Doug Edworthy will start by explaining the differences between different types of telescope and examples will be displayed in the hall.
Experienced MKAS members will be on hand to answer questions.
Members with particular telescope problems can bring their 'scopes along to get advice at an informal 'telescope clinic'.

Please register in advance, if you intend to bring your telescope to request assistance, noting the make and model of your equipment.

Please email to book your place.

Doug Edworthy

Doug's passion for all things to do with space was triggered as a small child as he listened to the beep-beep sounds of Sputnik 1 on the radio as the ‘first man-made moon’ circled the globe. By the time he was ten he was into amateur radio short-wave listening, building crystal sets, thermionic valve TRF receivers and, as the technology became available, transistorised superheterodyne receivers.
After college, he worked for ITT Consumer Products and then moved to Millbank Electronics in Uckfield. During his time there Doug became involved in induction loop technology for hearing-aid users and in the writing of British Standard 7594. He later became the ‘UK expert’ for several related International Electrotechnical Committee standards.
Doug eventually found himself as both a Technical Director and a Shareholder of Millbank and discovered a talent for quality management systems, taking the company through BS 5750:part 1 certification. He also spent time as President of the Institute of Sound & Communications Engineers and was awarded Honorary Fellowship in 2005.
In 1994 Doug set up his own consultancy business in audio electronics and in business management systems and undertook a 5-year OU course which resulted in a Post-Graduate Diploma in Computing.


Tom Field - Spectroscopy
Bredhurst Village Hall

Tom will demystify the science of spectroscopy and explain the art of spectral imaging. Tom says “ To capture the spectra, there is no steep learning curve. There’s no complicated software processing. There’s no need for a lot of math or to have a Ph.D. in astrophysics. And there’s no need for expensive equipment or dark skies. All it takes is an inexpensive 1.25" grating, and a small telescope (or DSLR). With a few clicks, you get exciting scientific results. And from those results, you can gain a rich understanding of the life cycle of stars.”
Join Tom in the meeting to learn more.

Tom Field

Tom Field was a Contributing Editor at Sky & Telescope Magazine for ten years. He’s the founder of Field Tested Systems and the author of the RSpec software ( which received the S&T “Hot Product” award. A pioneer in amateur astronomical spectroscopy, Tom promises to demystify the field and open the door for you to do easy hands-on science.


Carys Herbert - Hunting Outbursting Young Stars citizen science project
Bredhurst Village Hall

The Hunting Outbursting Young Stars (HOYS) citizen science project collects amateur astronomy data of nearby (<1 kpc), young (<10 Myr) star forming regions to conduct long term multi-filter photometric monitoring. The project aims to obtain one image per filter per region everyday. Since the project launched in 2014, it has gathered around 100 000 images. In this talk, I introduce the citizen science project and offer details on involvement. I will present the science aims and achievements of the project, spotlighting my PhD research into surface spots on young stars.

Carys Herbert

Carys completed an MPhys in Physics with Astrophysics at the University of Kent in 2020. She is working for a PhD at the University under the supervision of Dr Dirk Froebrich. Her thesis working title is “The Evolution of Surface Features of Young Stellar Objects”.
Carys is also actively involved in the International Astronomical Youth Camp (, a voluntary organisation which since 1969 has run annual summer camps for young people around the world. She is currently Vice-President of three organisation.


Annual General Meeting
Bredhurst Village Hall

This is your chance to discuss how the Society operates and to make suggestions about future activities, to appprove the annual accounts and to elect the Committee for the forthcoming year. Any Member can put themselves forward for election to the Committee. Indeed we would welcome some new blood so please do not be shy in volunteering.

Please send any proposals for changes to society business to by no later than 12 April 2024.
The Constitution can be viewed and downloaded from HERE.

The AGM is open to all MKAS Members and Visitors, however only Members are entitled to vote.

Please download and review the following documents: [1 of 3 documents when available]
- Agenda for the 2024 AGM
- Minutes of the 2023 AGM (Draft)
- Committee Roles and Responsibilities

The following reports will been sent to members in advance of the AGM:
- Treasurer's Report and Accounts 2023-2024

The following reports will be presented at the AGM:
- Treasurer's Report and Accounts
- Chairman's Report
- Programme Secretary's Report
- Membership Secretary's Report
- GP20 update


Regular Meetings

Regular meetings are held on the second and last Friday of each month, except August and at Christmas, when there are no meetings. Meetings normally start at 7:45pm for 8pm.

These meetings are open to everyone of all ages and levels of expertise, including complete beginners.

In-person meetings held at Bredhurst Village Hall

All Regular meetings are held at Bredhurst Village Hall unless otherwise stated.
Bredhurst Village Hall : Hurstwood Road, Bredhurst, Gillingham, Kent ME7 3JZ
Bredhurst is close to J4 off the M2. There is a car park on site.

There is a small entrance fee for each meeting to cover refreshments and other meeting costs.

Following the presentation there will be a refreshments break giving a chance to talk with other MKAS members and visitors, followed by an observing session in the field behind the hall (weather permitting) and a telescope workshop in the hall, so if you are having problems with your telescope (or just want to show it off) bring it along.

Please dress appropriately for the weather, and be ready for observing, if it is clear. Remember that it can get very cold, especially in winter, so bring several layers or your warmest winter coat, as you feel appropriate.

Virtual meetings (held occasionally)

Occasionally, we hold virtual meetings where the speaker is not able to visit in person.
All virtual meetings are held on Zoom unless otherwise stated.

These meetings are open to members as part of their annual subscription, and also available to non-members who are welcome to attend, for a fee of £3.

Following the presentation there will be a short comfort break followed by the main speaker answering your questions. This is then followed by a "Chit-Chat" session for all present who wish to stay on, where we have the opportunity to discuss any astronomical topics or ask any questions to those present.

Non-members who wish to attend can make their request by emailing us by no later than noon on the day before the event, at

Observatory Open Evenings

The James Irwin Observatory is
Confirmed CLOSED
It will remain closed until further notice.

On the Fridays when we do not hold our regular meetings at Bredhurst, and depending on the weather, we open our James Irwin Observatory in Canterbury for those who wish to do some observing.

We first meet at the Victoria Hotel from 8pm (Oct-Mar) / 8.30pm (Apr-Sep). Thirty minutes later, you will be escorted to the Observatory. Venue details are found on the left of this page.

Outreach Events

MKAS often get asked to hold Astronomy events for various schools, councils, scout groups and other groups. The committee and other supportive members are very actively organising and holding events from small shows or talks to Spectacular Events where several thousand members of the public typically attend.

Member Events

We organise various astronomy-related events and trips for our members. These are often subsidised.

Other Events

Members may also be interested in other astronomy-related events, run by other groups and societies, that our members are welcome to attend.

All persons under 18yrs must be accompanied by a parent/guardian or responsible adult.

If you wish further information on MKAS or any of the meetings, events and activities of the Society, please contact us, using the details on the CONTACT page.

»Regular Meetings
»Observatory Open Evenings
»Outreach Events
»Member Events
»Other Events


The James Irwin Observatory is
Confirmed CLOSED
It will remain closed until further notice.


Bredhurst Village Hall

Hurstwood Road,
Bredhurst, Gillingham,
Kent ME7 3JZ
(Close to J4 off the M2)
There is a car park on site.
Starts 7:45pm for 8pm.

James Irwin Observatory

Meet in the Conservatory at:
Victoria Hotel
59 London Road,
Canterbury, Kent
You will then be escorted to the observatory at 8:30pm (Oct-Mar) / 9pm (Apr-Sep)

Click here for details

Mid-Kent Astronomical Society
Website by and © Delta Consultancy Services