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...

There are no events scheduled.

Astronomical Events for December 2017

Moon

25 December - Good time to view the lunar lighting effect, lunar X, as the Moon rises in the east.  The Moon peaks around 13:40 UT.

27 December - Good time to view the northern limb of the Moon due to libration.

Planets

6 December - 06:30 UT - Jupiter's moon, Callisto, will pass close to the planet's southern limb.

14 December - Jupiter, Mars, and the Moon form a triangle.  They can be seen low in the southeast.

15 December - 06:30 UT - Looking to the west of Jupiter, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto create a triangle.  Io will be in the east.

31 December - pre-dawn - Mercury, Mars and Jupiter will be visible, with 3° separating Jupiter and Mars.

Occultations

30 December - The Moon occults some stars in the Hyades open cluster in Taurus.

31 December - 01:06 to 01:54 UT - The Moon occults Aldebaran at 01:06 UT, with the star reappearing at 01:54 UT.  Times are for the centre of the UK.

Meteor Showers

13-14 December - Peak of the Geminid meteor shower with a ZHR of 120 meteors an hour, although on average only 35-55 meteors an hour are seen due to observing conditions.

22 December - Peak of the annual Ursid meteor shower which has a peak ZHR of 10 meteors per hour, although the ZHR has been known to reach 50 meteors an hour.

Asteroids

14 December - evening - Look at the southwest boundary of M34 in Perseus, it may be possible to see Asteroid 3200 Phaethon which produces the Geminid meteor shower.

16 December - early evening - Asteroid 3200 Phaethon (mag. +10.7) will be approximately 10.25 million km from Earth, and can be found 2.5° east of Mirach (Beta Andromedae).

17 December - early evening - Asteroid 3200 Phaethon can be found in the Great Square of Pegasus which sets at 01:30 UT on the 18 December.

For more details on where to see Asteroid 3200 Phaethon, see page 71 of Astronomy Now (December 2017).

Miscellaneous

21 December - Winter Solstice

Moon Image Credit: Steve Knight
Jupiter Image Credit: NASA
Meteor Shower Image Credit: Stellarium
Asteroid Image Credit: NASA

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

Friday,
12th January
2018
Lights in the Sky
A talk by Michael Maunder
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Saturday,
27th January
2018
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Sunday,
28th January
2018
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Friday,
9th February
2018
Title TBA
A talk by John Maclean FRAS
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Saturday,
24th February
2018
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Sunday,
25th February
2018
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Friday,
9th March
2018
A Universe of dwarf galaxies
A talk by Dr Samantha Penny
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Friday,
23rd March
2018
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Saturday,
24th March
2018
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Sunday,
25th March
2018
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Friday,
13th April
2018
Adventures in the Outer solar system
A talk by Dr Caitriona Jackman
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:44pm

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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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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 December 2017 - Giant collapsing stars and a voyage into the history of the Universe - Talk by Dr Cosimo Inserra (University of Southampton)

Wednesday 10th January 2018 - TRAPPIST-1, and the study of Earth-like worlds - Talk by Dr Amauri Triaud (University of Birmingham) 

Wednesday 21st Febraury 2018 - Dwarf Galaxies in the Local Group - Talk by Dr Noelia Noel (University of Surrey)

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

Saturday 16th December - 1.30pm - One Small Step for Major Tim FULL DOME SHOW

Saturday 16th December - 3.30pm - ''Out There: The Quest for Extrasolar Worlds'' FULL DOME SHOW

Sunday 17th December - 3.30pm - ''Out There: The Quest for Extrasolar Worlds'' FULL DOME SHOW 

Thursday 21st December - 3.30pm - The Star of Bethlehem.

Thursday 21st December - 7.30pm - The Star of Bethlehem.

Saturday 23rd December - 1.30pm - The Star of Bethlehem. 

Saturday 23rd December - 3.30pm - The Star of Bethlehem.

Sunday 24th December - 1.30pm - The Star of Bethlehem. 

Wednesday 27th December - 3.30pm - Wintertime Stars, Moon and Planets

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,
13th July
2018
TBA
A talk by John D Timmins FRAS
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Friday,
12th October
2018
Title TBA
A talk by Dr Ashley King
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Friday,
9th November
2018
Title TBC
A talk by Dr Paul B Rimmer
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Friday,
14th December
2018
Title TBA
A talk by Colin Stuart
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
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:

In the Night Sky: Orion - Starts 8th January 2018 for details to book yourself onto this course click here

Moons: - Starts 12th February 2018 for details to book yourself onto this course click here