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 from strength to strength since our formation. Our home is now based at the Clanfield Observatory, one of the finest and largest amateur astronomical observatories in the UK.

Located on Hinton Heights on the edge of the South Downs near the villages of Clanfield and Horndean (between Petersfield and Portsmouth) you will find a superbly equipped Observatory and reasonably dark skies - measured as 20.6mag/arc2. Our night sky has noticeably darkened since the relighting of Hampshire.

We have a full program of monthly public lectures held at the Clanfield Memorial Hall, South Lane, Clanfield, which are open to all. The Group also hold regular Open Evenings from the autumn through to spring and Solar Observing events during the day in the summer months.

We also host private visits and run astronomical courses for the public at the observatory. All of the above is voluntarily supported by our very active and enthusiastic membership.

Details of all the above are on our website so please feel free to browse, it is constantly up-dated, so why not bookmark us in your browser under ‘favourites’? and visit often.

Clear Nights and Dark Skies.

Richard Judd - President
Hampshire Astronomical Group

What's on in the next month...

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

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

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Sun Live 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

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

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

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

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Friday,
25th September
2015
Autumn Moon Watch Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon, M13 & Andromeda Galaxy
- start time 7:15pm

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Saturday,
26th September
2015
Autumn Moon Watch Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon, M13 & Andromeda Galaxy
- start time 7:15pm

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Sunday,
27th September
2015
Autumn Moon Watch Public Open Evening Only 5 places left!
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

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

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

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Friday,
13th November
2015
The Storms of Jupiter
A talk by Neil Breckell
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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

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

More details...

Astronomical Events for May 2015

Moon

4-12 May - This is a good time to look at the heavily cratered southern polar region of the Moon due to lunar libration.

21 May - 23:00 BST - A waxing crescent Moon can be found 9° below and to the left of Venus.  Look for them in the west-northwest.

30-31 May - Another favourable time to look at the southern polar region of the Moon.

Planets

7 May - Mercury reaches greatest elongation 40 minutes after sunset and can be found low in the west-northwest.

9 May - Venus can be found north and to the right of M35 in Gemini.  Use binoculars to view them as the sky darkens.

13 May - 22:55 BST - Io transits Jupiter.  The transit starts at 22:55 BST, with the shadow appearing on Jupiter on 14th May at 00:11 BST.  Io will leave the planet's disc on 14th May at 01:12 BST, and the shadow at 02:27 BST.

19 May - sunset - Mercury can be found very low in the sky.  Look for the planet in the northwest.  The crescent Moon can also be seen about 9° to the left of Mercury.

23 May - midnight - Jupiter will be 6.5° from the Moon.  Look for them low down in the west.

23 May - Saturn is at opposition.

31 May - Venus and Jupiter will be 19° apart.

Meteor Showers

5-6 May - Peak of the Eta Aquarid meteor shower where is may be possible to see 10-20 meteors an hour.  Because of the nearly full Moon it may be best to try and observe this meteor shower just before dawn.

Misc

12 May - midnight - M13 in Hercules is high in the sky.  Other globular clusters to look out for are M3, M4, M5, M9, M10, M12, M14, and M92.

15 May - 01:00 BST - Good time to look at Corona Borealis (the Northern Crown) which can be found in the south about two-thirds up the sky from the horizon.

18 May - 00:50 BST - Good time to look at M5 which can be seen in the south.

20 May - Start of the noctilucent cloud season.  They can be found low down in the northwest 90-120 minutes after sunset, or in the northeast 90-120 minutes before sunrise.

Moon Image Credit: Steve Knight
Jupiter Images Credit: NASA
Noctilucent Clouds Image Credit: David Briggs

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 29th May - 7.30pm - Springtime Stars, Moon and Planets

Friday 5th June - 7.30pm - Hubble's 25 Glorious Years: Birth, Life and Death of Stars

Sunday 7th June - 3.30pm - Springtime Stars and Galaxies

Friday 12th June - 7.30pm - Saturn, Lord of the Rings

Sunday 14th June - 3.30pm - Hubble's 25 Glorious Years: Birth, Life and Death of Stars

Friday 19th June - 7.30pm - Springtime Stars, Moon and Planets

Sunday 21st June - 3.30pm - Pluto: The Story of a Dwarf Planet

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,
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,
11th March
2016
TBA
A talk by Dr Thomas Waters
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...
Friday,
13th May
2016
TBA
A talk by Dr Dirk Froebrich
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Friday,
10th June
2016
Confessions of an Astronomer
A talk by Professor Ian Robson
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...

Winchester Science Centre & Planetarium Lecture Series

10th June - The Planet Hunters: Interferometry, the transit method and the search for extraterrestrial life.

Talk by Piers Bizony

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: Recent astronomical discoveries have confirmed our long-held suspicions. Our milky way galaxy is teeming with planets. Join science writer Piers Bizony has he explains just how these discoveries were made, and what techniques are used to hunt out planets orbiting other suns. There are billions upon billions of alien worlds out there. The question now is - do any of them harbour life?

Piers Bizony is an author and film maker Piers Bizony lectures widely on the history of science and space exploration. His latest book, three years in the making, charts the production of Stanley Kubrick's epic science fiction film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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

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