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 7:40pm 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
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.

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: [3 of 3 available]
- Agenda for the 2024 AGM
- Minutes of the 2023 AGM (Draft)
- Committee Roles and Responsibilities

The following report has been sent to members:
- MKAS Accounts 2023-2024

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

Nik Szymanek - Adventures with Robotic Imaging
Bredhurst Village Hall

With the many recent developments in this field Nik will enlighten us and illustrate his talk with many new images.

Nik Szymanek

Nik Szymanek is an amateur astronomer based in North Essex. He is a keen astrophotographer and is a regular monthly columnist for Astronomy Now magazine and has appeared on the BBC's 'The Sky at Night', 'Inside Out' and 'The Final Frontier' television programmes.

Other interests include lecturing to astronomical, photographic and science societies. In July 2004 he was invited to Berkeley, California, to receive the prestigious Astronomical Society of the Pacific's Amateur Achievement Award for 2004. Nik is the author of three books, ‘Infinity Rising’, 'Shooting Stars' and ‘Shooting Stars II’, all three designed to help people get started in astrophotography.

Recent projects include the installation of a remote robotic telescope in the mountains of southern Spain. Nik is an ‘Ambassador / Tutor’ for the Telescope Live remote imaging platform and has created many image processing tutorials based around the data taken with Telescope Live’s many telescopes.

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.

Ashley King - The Story of the Winchcombe Meteorite Fall
Bredhurst Village Hall

The Winchcombe meteorite is the first 'rock from another world' to be recovered in the UK for 30 years. Guided by videos from the UK's meteor and fireball camera networks, the main mass was found on a driveway in Gloucestershire only 12 hours after landing. Over 500 g of the Winchcombe meteorite are now being curated at the Natural History Museum (NHM), London, and it is both scientifically and culturally priceless; as a fresh carbonaceous chondrite fall it holds vital clues about our origins, while its rapid recovery and analysis is a shining example of international collaboration between scientists, citizen-science projects, and local communities.

Event Image courtesy of NASA

Dr Ashley King

Ashley is a?Research Fellow at the Natural History Museum, London, where he investigates the origins of the Solar System and formation of planets through the laboratory analysis of meteorites and samples returned by space missions. He is a member of the sample analysis teams for the Hayabusa2 and OSIRIS-REx missions and the current lead of the UK Fireball Alliance (UKFAll), a collaboration between meteor camera networks that aims to recover freshly fallen meteorites in the UK

Sue Bowler - The Promise of Gravitational Waves
Bredhurst Village Hall

Over the past 5 years, a new type of astronomy has found a surprising number of otherwise undetected black holes and an unexpected range of masses. But why did it take 4 decades to detect gravitational waves? And what does the new detector technology offer for the future?
Image courtesy of Caltech.

Dr Sue Bowler, FRAS

Sue is an experienced editor and writer with a 30 year history in science research communication, in astronomy, geophysics, geology and general physical sciences. She currently edits the Royal Astronomical Society’s magazine ‘Astronomy & geophysics’ (A&G) and A&G Forum.

David Bryant - Space rocks and planetary formation
Bredhurst Village Hall

David Bryant is familiar to many for making meteorites available via his website At this meeting David will reveal how space rocks can reveal details about the formation of the planets, including the Earth we live on.

David Bryant

Following a brief career as a Naval Officer, David Bryant trained to be a teacher at Brentwood College of Education, Essex, teaching across all phases in Norfolk for over thirty years. He gained a science degree from the Open University, and used his scientific knowledge and his passion for astronomy to build up an online business trading in space rocks and other space memorabilia. He has written seven books, many magazine articles and has made numerous TV and radio appearances

Speaker / Summer Event TBC
Bredhurst Village Hall


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 7:40pm 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 £4.

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 7:40pm 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
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