Hampshire Astronomical Group

Established 1960, Online since 1998

Observatory Accessibility

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Hampshire Astronomical Group welcome you!

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

Located high on a hill on the South Coast of England in the village of Clanfield (between Petersfield and Portsmouth) you will find a superbly equipped Observatory with a very active and enthusiastic membership.

We have a full program of Public Open evenings throughout the year at the Observatory coupled with monthly interesting and educational talks held at the ‘Clanfield Memorial Hall – Clanfield’ where you are more than welcome to attend.

Feel free to browse this website, it is constantly up-dated, so do re visit often.

Clear Nights and Dark Skies,

Richard Judd - President
Hampshire Astronomical Group

What's on in the next month...

Friday,
8th May
2015
The History of the Universe in the Palm of Your Hand
A talk by Dr Karen Masters
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...

Sun Live Event at the Clanfield Observatory

Sun Live Event - See The Sun In All It's Explosive Glory !

Clanfield Observatory offer a rare chance to see the Sun's surface in real time using special Sun Filters.
Depending on the weather conditions and the activity on the Sun this is a chance to see Prominences and Sun Spots using Hydrogen Alpha and other special Filters.
Should the weather prevent views of the Sun we will give a tour of the observatory and an illustrated talk about the Sun.

Entrance is exclusively by pre purchased tickets priced at £5:00 Adults £3 for 16 and under each.

We have set two dates for this event. Saturday 20th June & Saturday 18th July. Start time on these dates will be 2pm and will finish around 4pm
 
For tickets please fill in a booking form on the Sun Live page of the web site.

http://www.hantsastro.org.uk/solardays/index.php 

Images credit: Phil Reed

Astronomy for Beginners Course

Astronomy is the oldest science and throughout the ages mankind has had a fascination for the night sky. This twenty-week course for adults over two terms, on Monday evenings from 7.15pm to 9.00pm at Clanfield Observatory, starting on Monday, 21st September 2015, is intended to introduce a basic understanding of astronomy with an emphasis on activities carried out by amateurs.

The course will include observations through some of the telescopes we have, when weather conditions permit.

As there is currently a surge of interest in astronomy, the course quickly fills up, so early enrolment is strongly recommended. 

For more details check out our Courses for All page: 
http://www.hantsastro.org.uk/education/courses.php

Or to book your place on the course please contact Robin Gorman by email: robin.gorman@hantsastro.org.uk

Autumn Moon Watch 2015 at Clanfield Observatory

Following the very popular events in the past five years, the 2015 Autumn Moon Watch will run on Friday 25th September Saturday 26th September and Sunday 27th September 2015. 

We will use the same format and cost as our normal open evenings. (£10.00 for adults, £5.00 for children under 12). Please note that neither the Moon Watch nor the Open evenings are suitable for children under 6 years old.

To book for any of these dates please use the booking form on our Open Evening web page 

http://www.hantsastro.org.uk/openevenings/index.php

Moon Image Credit: Steve Knight

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

Friday,
12th June
2015
Earth’s aurora and magnetosphere
A talk by Dr Robert C Fear
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Saturday,
20th June
2015
Sun Live Event at the Clanfield Observatory
Clanfield Observatory - start time 1:45pm

More details...
Friday,
10th July
2015
Exoplanets: where are our alien neighbours?
A talk by Professor Don Pollacco
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Saturday,
18th July
2015
Sun Live Event at the Clanfield Observatory
Clanfield Observatory - start time 1:45pm

More details...
Friday,
25th September
2015
Autumn Moon Watch Public Open Evening
Moon, M13 & Andromeda Galaxy
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Saturday,
26th September
2015
Autumn Moon Watch Public Open Evening Only 2 places left!
Moon, M13 & Andromeda Galaxy
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Sunday,
27th September
2015
Autumn Moon Watch Public Open Evening
Moon, M13 & Andromeda Galaxy
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Friday,
9th October
2015
Shedding Light on Supersonic Snowballs in Hell - the Physics of Close Comet-Sun Encounters
A talk by Professor John Brown
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Saturday,
24th October
2015
Public Open Evening
Moon, M13 & Andromeda Galaxy
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Sunday,
25th October
2015
Public Open Evening
Moon, M13 & Andromeda Galaxy
- start time 7:15pm

More details...

Astronomical Events for April 2015

Moon

7-13 April - This is a favourable time to look at the Moon's south pole which is covered in craters.

8 April - 04:20 BST - The Moon can be found approximately 5° west of Saturn.  Look for them in the south.

21 April - A waxing crescent Moon can be found approximately 1° east of Aldebaran, and Venus will be about 7.25° north of the Moon.  Look for them as the sky darkens.

25 April - 00:35 BSE - The Moon occults TYC1360-1431-1 (mag. +6.6) and then 68 Geminorum (mag. +5.3).

Planets

8 April - 22:54-22:59 BST - Annular occultation of Callisto by Europa.

9 April - Venus can be found south of the Pleiades.

11 April - Dwarf planet Haumea (mag. +17.2) can be found in Boötes.  It can be seen using digital imaging.

14 April - Venus can be found between the Pleiades and Hyades.

15 April - 21:10-00:46 BST - Ganymede transits Jupiter, with the moon's shadow following between 02:01 and 05:38 BST.

17-18 April - 22:15-02:57 BST - Callisto's shadow crosses Jupiter's disc.

18 April - 02:28-02:36 BST - Rare annular occultation of Ganymede by Callisto.

22 April - just after Sunset - Mars and Mercury are separated by 1.25° and can be found low in the west-northwest.

30 April - Mercury and the Pleiades are separated by 2°, look for them low in the northwest horizon just after sunset.

Meteor Showers

22-23 April - Midnight to 05:00 BST - Peak of the April Lyrid meteor shower with a ZHR of 10 meteors an hour.

Misc

3 April - This is a good time to look at Gamma Virginis (Porrima) which can be found approximately 4° above and left of the Moon.  As this binary system has moved farther apart over the past few years, it should now be possible to separate the two stars using a 3" telescope.

16 April - Good opportunity to image M104 (Sombrero galaxy).  It can be found due south just after midnight and will be at its highest point in the sky.

20 April - Good time to observe the deep-sky objects near the Plough; these objects include the Owl Nebula, M81 and M82, and the Mizar and Alcor multiple star system.

Moon Image Credit: Steve Knight
Jupiter Images Credit: NASA

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 1st May - 7.30pm - Springtime Stars and Galaxies

Monday 4th May - 1.30pm - All Aboard - A Tour of the Planets

Monday 4th May - 3.30pm - All Aboard - A Tour of the Planets

Friday 15th May - 7.30pm - Springtime Stars and Galaxies

Saturday 16th May - 1.30pm - 3.30pm - Course: How to Choose and Use Your New Telescope

Sunday 17th May - 3.30pm - Southern Stars, Nearby Galaxies

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

Admission Prices: £6.00 for adults, or £4.00 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
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,
13th November
2015
The Storms of Jupiter
A talk by Neil Breckell
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Saturday,
21st November
2015
Public Open Evening
Moon, Pleiades & Andromeda Galaxy
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Sunday,
22nd November
2015
Public Open Evening
Moon, Pleiades & Andromeda Galaxy
Clanfield Observatory - start time 7:15pm

More details...
Friday,
11th December
2015
The Star of Bethlehem
A talk by Mark Kidger
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Friday,
8th January
2016
TBA
A talk by Bob Mizon MBE
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Friday,
8th April
2016
Out of the Darkness - Pluto and the Outer Worlds
A talk by Andrew Lound
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...

Winchester Science Centre & Planetarium Lecture Series

13th May - The Dark Side of the Universe: the Euclid Space Mission

Talk by Dr Richard Cole (Mullard Space Science Laboratory)

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.

Lecture: current measurements tell us that Dark Energy and Dark Matter make up most of the mass of the Universe. However, what and where they are is still the subject of much debate. The European Space Agency's Euclid mission will be launched in 2020 to map these materials via their effect on the light from distant galaxies.

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

For more details and tickets please visit the Intech web site

Future Learn Free Astronomy Courses

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, Maths and Technology 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 Course: 'Monitoring Climate Change in Space' - Starts 8th June 2015 - Duration 5 Weeks - 3 Hours a Week needed. Click on the link to sign up.

After Dark at Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium

After Dark: adults only

Wed 29th April, Tue 19th May, Thur 25th June & Wed 15th July.

Visit the planetarium and play about in the exhibition after the kids have gone home. Activities run throughout the evening so no problem if you cannot get here for 6pm or if you need to leave early.

Ticket price: £10/£8 including one planetarium show and entry to the centre. Add the other show for just +£2.

Teachers: free entry (includes one show); send requests in advance by email using your school/college email address.

Online booking (if you want to see both shows, add the second on the next page)

Telephone bookings (01962) 891925. Please have your credit/debit card ready. If the front desk is too busy for staff to answer your call straight away you can leave your number and they will call you back.

Strictly ages 18yr+ (if you're lucky enough to look younger, please bring ID).

For more details of the events please check out After Dark