Hampshire Astronomical Group

Established 1960, Online since 1998

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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 February
2016
Black holes and string theory
A talk by Professor Marika Taylor
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Saturday,
13th February
2016
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon, Orion & Jupiter
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Sunday,
14th February
2016
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon, Orion & Jupiter
- start time 7:15pm

More details...

Astronomical Events for February 2016

Moon

1 February - 06:15 UT - The Moon and Mars will be separated by 2.5° and can be seen in the south.

6 February - 07:00 UT - The crescent Moon makes a triangular conjunction with Mercury and Venus.  Look for them low in the southeast.

9 February - Looking low in the west-southwest just after sunset, it may be possible to see a 1% lit crescent Moon.

16 February - Due to libration, this is a good time to see Mare Humboldtianum which lies on the north-eastern edge of the Moon.

29 February - 05:20 UT - 7° separates the Moon and Mars.  They can be seen in the south.

Planets

2 February - As Jupiter rises it should be possible to see the shadow of Ganymede crossing the planet's disc.  At 23:10 UT Ganymede begins its transit across the disc starting from the western limb.  The transit finishes on the 3 February at 02:25 UT.

4 February - 04:30 UT - Looking in the southeast Saturn can be found 6° to the left of the waning crescent Moon.  A little later Antares will be approximately 7.5° below and right of Saturn.

4/5 February - 23:24 UT to 02:16 UT - The shadow of Jupiter's moon Europa crosses the planet's disc.  Europa itself transits from 00:54 UT to 03:42 UT.

5 February - 03:56 UT to 06:14 UT - Io's shadow crosses Jupiter's disc.  Io transits between 04:40 UT and 06:55 UT.

9/10 February - just before midnight to 03:22 UT - Ganymede's shadow crosses the disc of Jupiter.  Ganymede transits between 02:34 UT and 05:52 UT.

12 February - 07:00 UT - 4° separates Venus and Mercury.  They can be found low in the southeast.

12 February - 19:00 UT - Uranus lies 3° from the Moon.

17 February - 03:50 UT to 07:22 UT - Ganymede's shadow crosses Jupiter's disc.  Ganymede starts to transit from 05:54 UT.

24 February - 02:40 UT - Only 2° separates Jupiter and an almost full Moon.

29 February - 20:33 UT - Europa's shadow starts to cross Jupiter's disc at 20:33 UT followed by Europa at 20:57 UT.  Io's shadow starts its transit at 22:32 UT followed by Io at 22:43 UT.  At 22:46 UT it will be possible to see both moons and their shadows on Jupiter's disc.  The double moon and shadow transits ends at 23:20 UT when Europa's shadow reaches Jupiter's western limb.

Occultations

13 February - 19:00 UT - The Moon occults xi 1 Ceti.

16 February - 01:30 UT- The Moon occults Gamma Tauri.  Look for them low in the west-northwest.

Comets

8 February - Comet C/2013 US10 Catalina is at 8th magnitude.  Look for the comet in Camelopardalis where it will be about 1° from Collinder 464, an open cluster.

22 February - Comet C/2013 US10 Catalina (8th mag) can be found near NGC 1502, an open cluster.

Moon Image Credit: Steve Knight
Jupiter Images Credit: NASA
Comet Image Credit: Steve Futcher

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

Friday,
11th March
2016
Solar sails: an exciting glimpse of the future?
Dr. Thomas Waters
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Friday,
18th March
2016
Spring Moon Watch Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon, Jupiter & M13
- start time 7:15pm

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Saturday,
19th March
2016
Spring Moon Watch Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon, Jupiter & M13
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Sunday,
20th March
2016
Spring Moon Watch Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon, Jupiter & M13
- start time 7:15pm

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

More details...
Saturday,
9th April
2016
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon, Jupiter & M13
- start time 7:45pm

More details...
Sunday,
10th April
2016
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon, Jupiter & M13
- start time 7:45pm

More details...
Friday,
13th May
2016
The (Physics of) Star Formation
A talk by Dr Dirk Froebrich
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Friday,
10th June
2016
Confessions of an Astronomer
Professor Ian Robson
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Friday,
8th July
2016
Rosetta at comet 67P
A talk by Kimberley Birkett
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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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.

10th February 2016 - Chasing Cosmic Inflation - Talk by Prof Jo Dunkley (University of Oxford)

9th March 2016 - Destruction of supersonic solid state snowballs in the ultrahot near-vacuum coronal plasma - Talk by Prof John Brown (University of Glasgow)

13th April 2016 - Small Bodies of the Solar System - Talk by Prof Carolin Crawford

11th May 2016 - The Planet Hunters: interferometry, the transit method and the search for extraterrestrial life - Talk by Piers Bizony

8th June 2016 - The Ghost Universe - Talk by Dr Francisco Diego

13th July 2016 - Asteroids, Comets and Impacts. Should we worry? - Talk by Prof Robin Catchpole (University of Cambridge)

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

Friday 12th February - 7.30pm - The Northern Lights

Sunday 14th February - 3.30pm - Stars on Frosty Winter Nights

Monday 15th February - 3.30pm - Prepare to Blast-Off!

Tuesday 16th February - 3.30pm -Stars on Frosty Winter Nights

Wednesday 17th February - 1.30pm - All Aboard - A Tour of the Planets

Wednesday 17th February - 3.30pm - All Aboard - A Tour of the Planets

Thursday 18th February - 3.30pm - Seven Wonders of the Solar System

Friday 19th February - 7.30pm - Wintertime 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
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,
14th October
2016
TBA
A talk by TBA
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Friday,
11th November
2016
TBA
A talk by Dr Chris North
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Friday,
9th December
2016
Herschel’s Incredibly Cool Universe
A talk by Dr Chris Pearson
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...

After Dark at Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium

After Dark: adults only

Thurs 25th Feb, Tues 22nd March, Thurs 21st April & Tues 17th May.

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

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 Free Online Astronomy Courses:

Moons. - starts 29th February 2016 for details to book yourself onto the course click here