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 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...

Friday,
13th March
2015
Operation Ritchey–Chrétien Telescope
A DVD documentary by John and Ken Palmer
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Friday,
27th March
2015
Spring Moon Watch Sold Out!
Moon, Jupiter & Orion Nebula
- start time 7:30pm

More details...
Saturday,
28th March
2015
Spring Moon Watch Sold Out!
Moon, Jupiter & Orion Nebula
- start time 7:30pm

More details...
Sunday,
29th March
2015
Spring Moon Watch Sold Out!
Moon, Jupiter & Orion Nebula
- start time 8:00pm

More details...

Winchester Science Centre & Planetarium Lecture Series

11th March - Asteroids Small and Large: When's the next one coming?

Prof Alan Fitzsimmons (Queen's University Belfast)

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: The impact of a small asteroid in Russia in 2013 reminded everyone of the potential dangers from these objects. Producing a fireball brighter than the Sun, over a thousand people were injured by the resulting shockwave. Larger asteroids can be much more deadly. This talk will address what we know - and what we don't know - about the asteroids and comets that could be on a collision course. Where are they, how can we detect them, and what should we do if we find one coming our way?

Prof Alan Fitzsimmons is a Professor of Astronomy in the Astrophysics Research Centre, Queen's University Belfast. His field of expertise is the study of asteroids and comets.
He co-leads the Pan-STARRS inner solar system project, and works within the NEOShield project on preventing asteroid impacts, among other interests. In the past year he has featured on BBC programmes The Sky at Night and Horizon, and he given many talks on astronomy.

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

Astronomical Events for March 2015

Moon

3 March - Early hours - The Moon can be found approximately 6° southwest of Jupiter.

3 March - 03:25 UT - The Moon occults Alpha Cancri (Acubens).  The star will reappear one hour later.

12 March - 05:00 UT - The Moon can be found 2° northwest of Saturn.

10-16 March - Good time to observe the southwest limb of the Moon due to lunar libration, and if you want to see Marie Orientale then the best time will be during the early hours of 14 March.

21 March - 19:30 UT - A waxing crescent Moon can be found 2.3° to the west of Mars.

22 March - 19:00 UT - The crescent Moon and Venus will be approximately 4° apart.

24 March - If you want to see Mare Humboldtianum, then this would be a good time to view it as lunar libration is favouring the northeast limb.

24-25 March - The Moon can be found close to the Hyades and Aldebaran making a good imaging target.

Planets

1 March - 04:09 UT to 04:15 UT - Jupiter's moon Europa passes in front of Io, with mid-occultation occurring at 04:12 UT.  Look for Jupiter in the west when it will be 19° above the horizon.

2 March - Minor planet Juno (mag. +9) can be seen close to Beta Cancri (Altarf) in Cancer.

2 March - Saturn's moon Iapetus is at western elongation when it will at its brightest by 2 magnitudes.  It will be at mag. +10.2 this morning and can be found 9 arcminutes west of Saturn.

4 March - 20:00 UT - Venus and Uranus can be seen close together, with Uranus 6 arcminutes below Venus.  Look for them just after sunset where a clear western horizon is needed.

11 March - 20:00 UT - Mars and Uranus will be 17 arcminutes apart and can be seen in the west approximately 3° above the horizon.

22 March - Minor planet Makemake is at opposition making it a visible imaging target using a medium size telescope.  It can be found in Coma Berenices.

24 March - 00:10 UT to 00:19 UT - Callisto is partially eclipsed by Ganymede.

Solar Eclipse

20 March - 08:15 UT - 10:50 UT - Partial solar eclipse of the Sun, with 84.5% coverage at 09:28 UT in Southampton.  WARNING:  DO NOT LOOK AT THE SUN WITH THE NAKED EYE, USE APPROVED SOLAR SPECS OR SOLAR SAFETY FILTERS AVAILABLE FROM LEADING TELESCOPE DEALERS.

Misc

18 March - Midnight - Good time to look at the Realm of Galaxies as there will be no Moon.

20 March - 22:45 UT - Spring Equinox.

29 March - 01:00 UT - Start of British Summer Time (BST) when the clocks go forward one hour.

Moon Image Credit: Steve Knight
Jupiter Images Credit: NASA

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

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 1st March - 3.30pm - Myths and Legends of the Night Sky

Friday 6th March - 7.30pm - Eclipses of the Sun and this month's Solar Eclipse 

Sunday 8th March - 3.30pm - Meteorites, Space Rocks and Impacts 

Thursday 12th March - 7.30pm - The Northern Lights

Saturday 14th March - 3.30pm - Eclipses of the Sun and this month's Solar Eclipse

Friday 27th March - 7.30pm - Springtime Stars, Moon and Planets

Sunday 29th March - 3.30pm - Giant Jupiter, King of the Planets

Tuesday 31st March - 3.30pm - Springtime 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 between next month and 6 months...

Saturday,
25th April
2015
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon & Jupiter
- start time 8:00pm

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Sunday,
26th April
2015
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon & Jupiter
- start time 8:00pm

More details...
Friday,
8th May
2015
The History of the Universe in the Palm of Your Hand
A talk by Dr Karen Masters
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Friday,
10th July
2015
TBA
A talk by Professor Don Pollacco
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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After Dark at Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium

After Dark: adults only

Thurs 26th March & Wed 29th April.

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...

Friday,
9th October
2015
Ray Bootland Memorial Lecture
A talk by Professor John Brown
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Friday,
11th December
2015
The Star of Bethlehem
A talk by Mark Kidger
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...