Mid-Kent Astronomical Society
The James Irwin Observatory is
Confirmed CLOSED
It will remain closed until further notice.

Prof David Southwood CBE - Odyssey to Saturn and Titan: Cassini/Huygens
Zoom presentation

Odyssey to Saturn and Titan: Cassini/Huygens.
In the early 80s, David was one of the first scientists involved in thinking about a joint European-US space mission to Saturn and its largest moon, Titan. Once NASA and ESA agreed to do such a mission, he built one of the 11 instruments for the US mother ship, Cassini and then found himself Science Director at the European Space Agency and in charge of the team landing the ESA Huygens probe on Titan in January 2005. Once retired from ESA, he has returned to work with data form Cassini and in 2017, he was present with the rest of the Cassini world-wide team when Cassini was deliberately crashed into Saturn’s atmosphere. He will recount some of his many stories from an epic 35-year space mission.

Prof David Southwood CBE

David was formerly the Director of Science and Robotic Exploration at the European Space Agency (2001-2011) and President of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) 2012-2014. He received a CBE in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Before going to ESA, he was a space scientist at Imperial College, London. At ESA, he oversaw building and launching spacecraft to Venus, Mars and the Moon as well as the Rosetta probe with lander Philae to comet Churymuov-Gerasimenko, in addition to several major space telescopes. He led the team that landed a European probe on Saturn’s largest moon Titan in 2005. An instrument he built at Imperial operated in orbit around the planet Saturn aboard the NASA Cassini spacecraft from 2004-2017. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, was awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal and won the 2011 Sir Arthur C. Clarke award for space achievement. He was chairman of the Steering Board of the UK Space Agency 2016-2019. He is currently a senior research investigator at Imperial College.


Bob Mizon MBE - The Cape York Meteorite and a Little Known Story
VIrtual Presentation by ZOOM

In this presentation Bob will tell us about the Cape York iron meteorite found in 1818. Estimated to be just over 58 tonnes in weight the remnants form the largest meteorite in any museum collection in the world. Its transportation was a massive feat of engineering but there is also a dark tale behind its journey. This will surely be a fascinating talk.

Joining instructions will be sent to Members nearer the time.

Bob Mizon MBE


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)
Following the presentation there will be a tea break giving a chance to talk with other MKAS members and then 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.

The meeting is open to non-members who are welcome to attend for free on their first visit.
Everyone of all ages and levels of expertise is welcome, including complete beginners.

There is a small entrance fee for each meeting to cover costs for tea and coffee.

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.

All of our regular meetings are held on the second and last Friday of each month, except August and at Christmas, when there are no meetings.
All regular meetings are held at Bredhurst Village Hall unless otherwise stated.
Meetings normally start at 7.45pm for 8pm.
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.

See our website EVENTS page for details of our forthcoming meetings.

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