Hampshire Astronomical Group

Established 1960, Online since 1998

Observatory Accessibility

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Hampshire Astronomical Group welcome you!

Formed in Portsmouth in 1960 the ‘Hampshire Astronomical Group’ has grown into one of the finest 'amateur astronomical groups' in the UK.

Our extensively equipped Observatory is situated within the South Downs National Park dark skies reserve on the border of Clanfield and Horndean villages in Hampshire.

The Group hold regular Open Evenings at the Observatory from autumn through to spring; giving visitors the opportunity to view the night sky through our very large telescopes or, if cloudy, a tour of the facilities followed by a lecture on an astronomical topic in our modern (heated) clubroom facility.

Furthermore we hold Solar (sun) observing events where visitors can observe our nearest star the 'sun' viewed through our specialist solar viewing equipment  during  daylight hours in the summer months.

We also host group visits and run astronomical courses for the public at the observatory.

We have a long-established association with the University of Portsmouth where their undergraduates and students can avail themselves of our facilities and knowledge base for furthering their studies.

There is a full programme of monthly public lectures, with eminent guest speakers, held at the Clanfield Memorial Hall where non members are more than welcome to attend.

Access and Information to all our activities (which are supported voluntarily by our very active and enthusiastic membership) are shown on this website.  So please feel free to browse, it is constantly up-dated; so why not bookmark us in your browser and visit regularly.

Clear Nights and Dark Skies.

Richard Judd FRAS
President:  Hampshire Astronomical Group - Clanfield Observatory

What's on in the next month...

Saturday,
28th October
2017
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon - M15 - Albireo/M57/M71
- start time 7:15pm

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Sunday,
29th October
2017
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon - M15 - Albireo/M57/M71
- start time 7:15pm

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Friday,
10th November
2017
The Origins of the Solar System
A talk by James Fradgley FRAS
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Spring Moon Watch at Clanfield Observatory

Following these very popular events over the past eight years, the 2018 Spring Moon Watch will run from Friday 23rd March to Sunday 25th March.

This weekend event will offer superb opportunities for viewing the Moon.

Cost are £10.00 for adults, £5.00 for children under 16.

As little children get cold quickly and their attention span is often limited, we do not recommend the Moon Watch or the Open Evenings for children under 8 years old. 

To book for any of these events please use our booking form here 
 


Moon Image Credit: Steve Knight

What's on between next month and 6 months...

Saturday,
25th November
2017
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon - M15 - Albireo/M57/M71
- start time 7:15pm

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Sunday,
26th November
2017
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon - M15 - Albireo/M57/M71
- start time 7:15pm

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Friday,
8th December
2017
The Oldest Light in the Universe
A talk by Dr Chris Pearson
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Friday,
12th January
2018
Lights in the Sky
A talk by Michael Maunder
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Saturday,
27th January
2018
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

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Sunday,
28th January
2018
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

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Saturday,
24th February
2018
Public Open Evening Only 7 places left!
- start time 7:15pm

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Sunday,
25th February
2018
Public Open Evening
Clanfield Observatory - start time 7:15pm

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Friday,
9th March
2018
A Universe of dwarf galaxies
A talk by Dr Samantha Penny
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Friday,
23rd March
2018
Public Open Evening
- start time 7:15pm

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Saturday,
24th March
2018
Public Open Evening
Clanfield Observatory - start time 7:15pm

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Sunday,
25th March
2018
Public Open Evening
Clanfield Observatory - start time 7:15pm

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Friday,
13th April
2018
Adventures in the Outer solar system
A talk by Dr Caitriona Jackman
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:44pm

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Astronomical Events for October 2017

Moon

5 Oct – Harvest Moon.

8 Oct – The Moon’s libration means it’s a good time to view the Florey and Peary craters which can be found near the north pole region.

12 Oct – 11:20 BST – Using a telescope, try and find the Moon and Mars.  They will be due south and less than halfway up the sky.

14 Oct – 02:00 BST – Looking east-northeast, the Moon will be 5° from M44 (the Beehive Cluster).

18 Oct – 06:00 BST – The Moon and Venus will appear to be 2.75° apart and can be seen low in the east.

20 Oct – The Moon will be less than 1% lit.  Start looking low in the west-southwest approximately 20 minutes after sunset.  The Moon will set 50 minutes after sunset.

21-23 Oct – This is a good time to view the Moon’s southeast limb which has features such as the Humboldt walled plain.

Planets

5 Oct – morning – Venus, Mars and Sigma Leonis form a triangle.

6 Oct – morning – Venus and Mars will be 22 arcminutes apart.

19 Oct – Uranus is at opposition and will be visible all night.

24 Oct – Saturn will be 3.5° southwest of the Moon.

29 Oct – Minor planet Pallas is at opposition and can be found in Eridanus.

30 Oct – evening – Neptune can be seen 1.5° north of the Moon.

Comets

October – Comet 2016R2 (PanSTARRS) can be found in Orion’s belt, first going past Alnilam then Mintaka.

31 Oct – Comet 24P/Schaumasse will be at approximately mag. +10.7 and can be found in the eastern part of Leo.

Meteor Showers

21 Oct – Peak of the Orionid meteor shower.

Occultations

6 Oct – 00:58 BST – Neptune’s moon Triton occults star UCAC4.  Using a large telescope it will be possible to see this rare event when the star will dim for approximately 161 seconds.  Neptune will be 26° above the south-southwestern horizon.

14 Oct – 04:52 BST – The Moon occults omicron Cancri.

Misc

11 Oct – 21:00 BST to midnight – Asteroid 2012 TC4 makes an extremely close pass to Earth, and at 05:52 UT on 12 October it will be at a distance of 49,000 km.  However, at mag. +12.8 it is a dim object.  For up to date information go to https://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/horizons.cgi.

29 Oct – End of British Summer Time when the clocks go back one hour at 02:00 BST (01:00 UT).

Moon Image Credit: Steve Knight
Mars Image Credit: NASA

Winchester Science Centre & Planetarium Lecture Series

Adult evening lectures on the second Wednesday's of the Month at 4.30pm and 6.30pm, each follow by a short Planetarium Show about the months sky.

Wednesday 8th November 2017 - From the Bay of Fundy to Black Holes - Talk by Professor Don Kurtz (University of Lancaster)

Wednesday 13th December 2017 - Giant collapsing stars and a voyage into the history of the Universe - Talk by Dr Cosimo Inserra (University of Southampton)

Wednesday 10th January 2018 - TRAPPIST-1, and the study of Earth-like worlds - Talk by Dr Amauri Triaud (University of Birmingham) 

These events often sell out so pre-book or call to check on (01962) 863791

For more details on the talks and tickets please visit the Intech web site

Southdowns Planetarium


The South Downs Planetarium is a registered educational charity, which is run by a small team of experienced and dedicated volunteers.
The Planetarium operates throughout the year, but is not open every day.

Members of the public are welcome to visit the Planetarium at the show times listed on this website.

Public Shows and Dates

Friday 20th October - 7.30pm - Autumn Stars & Galaxies

Sunday 22nd October - 3.30pm - The Northern Lights

Monday 23rd October - 3.30pm - One Small Step for Major Tim FULL DOME SHOW

Tuesday 24th October - 3.30pm - All Aboard - A Tour of the Planets

Wednesday 25th October - 3.30pm - Distant Worlds: Alien Life FULL DOME SHOW

Thursday 26th October - 3.30pm - Autumn Stars Moon and Planets

Friday 27th October - 3.30pm - Seven Wonders of the Solar System

Sunday 29th October - 3.30pm - Hubble's View of the Universe FULL DOME SHOW

As seats sell out fast, it is essential to book your seat.

Admission Prices: £7.00 for adults, or £5.00 for children 6 to 16yrs. Cash or Cheque Only

The South Downs Planetarium Trust is a Registered Educational Charity No. 1096869.

For further information about all South Downs Planetarium activities, contact: 

The South Downs Planetarium and Science Centre
Sir Patrick Moore Building

Chichester High School Campus
Kingsham Farm
Kingsham Road
Chichester
West Sussex PO19 8RP

For Sat Nav Users:-

Enter PO19 8AE

Tel: 01243 774400
Ticket hotline: 07818 297292


e-mail: sdownsplanet@btconnect.com

http://www.southdowns.org.uk/

What's on after the next 6 months...

Friday,
11th May
2018
The Day They Launched a Woodpecker!
A talk by Jerry Stone FBIS FRAS
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Friday,
8th June
2018
Blexit: Exiting the Universe via black hole
A talk by Dr Poshak Gandhi
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Friday,
13th July
2018
TBA
A talk by John D Timmins FRAS
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Friday,
9th November
2018
Title TBC
A talk by Dr Paul B Rimmer
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Friday,
14th December
2018
Title TBA
A talk by Colin Stuart
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Tuesday,
1st January
2019
Brave new worlds: the planets in our galaxy
A talk by Professor Giovanna Tinetti - Please note date of this talk is TBA
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Future Learn Free Astronomy Courses

FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform, enabling digital education through conversation.  FutureLearn offers free and paid for online courses and degrees from world-leading UK and international universities as well as courses from companies, centres of research excellence and specialist education providers.  FutureLearn partners with over a quarter of the world’s top universities and organisations such as Accenture, Microsoft, the British Council, European Space Agency, Houses of Parliament, Raspberry Pi and Cancer Research UK.   

FutureLearn provides a range of free online courses from some of the world's leading educators. Courses are created by UK and international universities, as well as cultural institutions and global centres of excellence in a range of subject areas, like the British Council and the European Space Agency.

A number of Astronomy courses are listed in the website's Science, Engineering and Maths category. Recent titles have included 'Moons' and 'In the Night Sky: Orion', both from The Open University. The lead educator on the Orion course, Professor Monica Grady, CBE, worked as part of the project team that successfully landed the Philae probe on a comet last November.

An added advantage of FutureLearn is its focus on 'social learning', whereby learners from all over the world can have conversations about the topics covered during a course with one another, and with the academics leading the course.

FutureLearn adds courses throughout the year and repeats popular titles, so the easiest way to keep up to date is to register on the website. Details on upcoming Astronomy courses will also be listed here.

Next Free Online Astronomy Courses:

Moons: - Starts 30 October 2017 for details to book yourself onto this course click here

In the Night Sky: Orion - Starts 8th January 2018 for details to book yourself onto this course click here