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...

There are no events scheduled.

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, 15th September 2014, 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: 

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

Winchester Science Centre & Planetarium Lecture Series

10th September - Space Weather, Past, Present and Future

Prof Clive Dyer (University of Surrey Space Centre)

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.

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

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 31st July - 7.30pm - Summer Skies, Shooting Stars 

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

Tuesday 5th August - 3.30pm - Summer Skies, Shooting Stars

Wednesday 6th August - 3.30pm - Our Galaxy, The Milky Way

Thursday 7th August - 7.30pm - Summer Skies, Shooting Stars

Sunday 17th August - 3.30pm - Summertime Stars, Moon and Planets

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
West Sussex PO19 8RP

For Sat Nav Users:-

Enter PO19 8AE

Tel: 01243 774400 Ticket hotline: 07818 297292

e-mail: sdownsplanet@btconnect.com


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

10th October
The Exploding Universe: A Party in the Sky
A talk by Rene Breton
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
25th October
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Uranus, Pleiades, M15 or M57
- start time 7:30pm

More details...
26th October
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Uranus, Pleiades, M15 or M57
- start time 7:30pm

More details...
14th November
A talk by Dr Robin Catchpole
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
29th November
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon, Pleiades, Uranus or M15
- start time 7:30pm

More details...
30th November
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon, Pleiades, Uranus or M15
- start time 7:30pm

More details...
12th December
The Amazing Voyage of Herschel
A talk by Mark Kidger
Clanfield Observatory - start time 7:45pm

More details...

Astronomical Events for July 2014


5 July - Look for the first quarter Moon low in the southwest.  To the left of the Moon is Mars.

7 July - up to midnight - A waxing gibbous Moon can be found north of double star Zubenelgenubi (Alpha Librae).  Saturn is above and to the left of the Moon.

13 July - Good time to observe parts of Mare Orientale due to the Moon's libration.

21 and 22 July - early hours - Look for the crescent Moon which can be found low in the east before sunrise.  It will be near the Pleiades and the Hyades.


4 July - Pluto is at opposition.

12 July - Mercury is at greatest western elongation.  Look for Mercury at about 04:00 BST, with Venus approximately 7° to the upper right.

13 July - Mars will be 1.3° from Spica.  This is a good opportunity to observe the colour contrast between them.

20 July - Venus is 1.5° south of M35, but there will be a bright dawn sky.

24 July - 04:00 BST - Mercury will be close to the northeast horizon.  Venus can be found above and to the right of Mercury, and a waning crescent Moon will be just to the right of Venus.  Look for them again on the 25 July.


19 July - Comet C.214 E2 Jacques (mag. +8) can be found close to Elnath (Beta Tauri), with its closest approach on the morning of 20 July.  They will be low in the northeast and will only be visible for a short period of time just before dawn.

Meteor Showers

29/30 July - Peak of the Southern Delta Aquarids with a ZHR of 16 meteors an hour.  The Moon will be 3 days old.  It is best to observe this meteor shower over the 3 hours of darkness.  The Southern Delta Aquarids can be observed from 28-31 July.


July - Look out for Noctilucent clouds during the month.  They appear one to two hours after sunset low in the northwest, and one to two hours before sunset low in the northeast.

4 July - 01:13 BST - Earth is at aphelion when it will be exactly 152,093,407 km from the Sun.

5 July - The asteroids Ceres and Vesta will be 10 arcminutes apart and can be found in Virgo.

31 July - midnight BST - Good time to look for deep-sky objects which can be found in the Teapot asterism (Sagittarius).  If you look just above the spout, it may be possible to see the Lagoon and Trifid Nebulae, M8 and M20.

Moon Image Credit: Steve Knight
Mars Image Credit: NASA
Noctilucent Clouds Image Credit: David Briggs

After Dark at Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium

After Dark: adults only

Tues 16 Sept, Weds 15 Oct, Thurs 6 Nov, Tues 2 Dec

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

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

There are no events scheduled.