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

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

More details...
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

More details...
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

More details...

Astronomical Events for August 2017

Moon

6 August – Good time to look for the Moon illusion where it will look enormous when close to the horizon.

7 August – As the Moon rises it will be partially eclipsed by Earth’s penumbral shadow, although this not be very noticeable visually, and will be finished by 21:51 BST.

14 August – Good time to look at the northwest limb of the Moon due to libration.  Features to look at include the crater Pythagoras.

Planets

1 August – 02:00 BST – Uranus will be just over 1° north of omicron (ο) Piscium, look for the planet in the east-southeastern sky.

2 August – morning – Venus will be 2.5° south of M35, an open cluster in Gemini.

3 August – evening – Saturn will be 5° southwest of the Moon.

13 August – Venus will be 2.5° south of the dwarf planet Ceres.

25 August – Jupiter will be 3° southwest of the Moon.

31 August – 04:00 BST – Venus will be 2.2° southwest of M44 (the Beehive Cluster).

Occultations

16 August – The crescent Moon will first occult the southern region of the Hyades before turning its attention to Aldebaran which will disappear about 07:42 BST and reappear at 08:39 BST.

Meteor Showers

12 August 15:00 BST to 13 August 03:30 BST – Peak of the Perseid meteor shower.

18 August – Peak of the Kappa Cygnid meteor shower.  Although this meter shower only has a ZHR of 3 meteors an hour, it can produce some fireballs.

Comets

18 August – Comet 2015 ER61 (PanSTARRS) will be very close to M45 in the Pleiades creating a good photo opportunity for those who can secure a 2° field of view.  Go to https://theskylive.com/c2015er61-info for an Ephemeris calculation.

Misc

17 August – 01:40 BST – Algol, an eclipsing binary star in Perseus, will be at its dimmest at mag. +3.4.

21 August – 19:40 BST to 20:22 BST – Small partial eclipse of the Sun.  NEVER view the Sun with a naked eye, use solar filters, eclipse glasses or projection method.  Always check filters and eclipse glasses for damage before use.

31 August-1 September – Asteroid 3122 Florence (4 km wide) will be at its brightest on 31 August and at its closest on the 1September when it passes within 8 million kilometres of Earth.  Go to www.minorplanetcentre.org/iau/MPEph/MPEph.html for an accurate minor planet ephemeris.

Noctilucent Clouds

Early August – it may still be possible to see Noctilucent clouds.

Moon Image Credit: Steve Knight
Saturn 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 13th September 2017 - What is new in our Solar System? - Talk by Dr Robin Catchpole (University of Cambridge)

Wednesday 11th October 2017 - Rosetta and Beyond: ESA's Interplanetary Mission Operations - Talk by Dr Paolo Ferri (ESA)

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

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

Sunday 20th August - 3.30pm - Distant Worlds: Alien Life FULL DOME SHOW

Tuesday 22nd August - 3.30pm - Distant Worlds: Alien Life FULL DOME SHOW

Thursday 24th August - 3.30pm - The Northern Lights

Monday 28th August - 1.30pm - One Small Step for Major Tim, A Giant Leap Towards Mars FULL DOME SHOW   

Monday 28th August - 3.30pm - Hubble's View of the Universe FULL DOME SHOW

Wednesday 30th August - 3.30pm - Summertime Stars, Moon and Planets

Friday 1st September - 7.30pm - Our Galaxy, The Milky Way

Sunday 3rd September - 3.30pm - All Aboard - A Tour of the Planets

Sunday 10th September - 3.30pm - Hubble's View of the Universe FULL DOME SHOW

Friday 22nd September - 7.30pm - The Northern Lights

Sunday 24th September - 3.30pm - The Northern Lights

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,
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:

Earth Observations from Space: The Optical View: - Starts 4th September 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