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...

There are no events scheduled.

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

Thursday 27th July - 3.30pm - Voyage to Saturn, Lord of the Rings

Friday 28th July - 7.30pm - Summer Nights, Shooting Stars

Monday 31st July - 3.30pm - One Small Step for Major Tim, A Giant Leap Towards Mars FULL DOME SHOW 

Tuesday 1st August - 3.30pm - Our Galaxy, The Milky Way

Thursday 3rd August - 3.30pm - Summertime Stars, Moon and Planets

Sunday 6th August - 3.30pm - Seven Wonders of the Solar System

Tuesday 8th August - 3.30pm - Summer Nights, Shooting Stars

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 between next month and 6 months...

Saturday,
2nd September
2017
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon & Saturn
- start time 7:45pm

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Sunday,
3rd September
2017
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon & Saturn
- start time 7:45pm

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Friday,
29th September
2017
Public Open Evening - Autumn Moon Watch Sold Out!
Moon & Saturn
- start time 7:15pm

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Saturday,
30th September
2017
Public Open Evening - Autumn Moon Watch Sold Out!
Moon & Saturn
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Sunday,
1st October
2017
Public Open Evening - Autumn Moon Watch Sold Out!
Moon & Saturn
- start time 7:15pm

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Friday,
13th October
2017
15 million degrees: journey to the centre of the Sun
A talk by Professor Lucie Green
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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

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

More details...
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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Astronomical Events for July 2017

Moon

6/7 July - The Moon can be seen close to Saturn.

15 July - Good time to look at the northwest limb of the Moon due to libration.

20 July - 03:00 BST - The crescent Moon will be near Aldebaran with Venus to the left.  They can be seen in the east-northeast.

25 July - 08:34 BST to 08:54 BST - The Moon will be very close to Mercury and it may be possible to see an occultation, however Mercury will be very close to the sun and will be 6° above the eastern horizon as viewed from London, but the further north you go the greater the occultation.

26 July - Libration means it is a good time to view the eastern limb and features such as Mare Marginis and Mare Smythii.

28 July - The Moon will be close to Jupiter, they will be separated by 2°.

30 July - 22:00 BST - Peak of the 'X' effect on the Moon.  Look for it about one-third of the way up the terminator from the southern end.

Planets

2 July - Juno, a minor planet, reaches opposition.  It is mag. +9.8 and can be found in Scutum.

10 July - Pluto reaches opposition.

14 July - 03:00 BST - Venus will be 3° north of Aldebaran (Taurus).  They can be found low in the east-northeast.

17 July - Uranus will be 5° northwest of the Moon and 1° north of Omicron Piscium (Pisces).

20 July - 01:00 BST - Saturn will pass mag +8.8 star HIP 85247 making it look as if Saturn has an extra moon.

30 July - Mercury at greatest eastern elongation.

Comets

16 July - Comet C/2015 ER61 PANSTARRS will be close to mag. +5.2 Epsilon Arietis (Aries).

Occultations

25 July - The Moon occults Mercury (see above).

Meteor Showers

23 July - Start of the Perseid meteor shower, although there won't be many meteors until the middle of August.

Misc

3 July - 21:11 BST - Earth reaches aphelion and will be at its furthest point from the Sun - 152 million km.

Noctilucent Clouds

Look for these clouds 90-120 minutes after sunset in the northwest or 90-120 minutes before sunrise in the northeast.

Moon Image Credit: Steve Knight
Venus Image Credit: NASA

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

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,
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,
9th November
2018
Title TBC
A talk by Dr Paul B Rimmer
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

More details...

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:

How to Survive on Mars: The Science behind the Human Exploration of Mars: - Starts 7th August 2017 
for details to book yourself onto this course click here

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