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...

Friday,
3rd March
2017
Public Open Evening - Spring Moon Watch Sold Out!
Moon & Orion Nebula
- start time 7:15pm

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Saturday,
4th March
2017
Public Open Evening - Spring Moon Watch Sold Out!
Moon & Orion Nebula
- start time 7:15pm

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Sunday,
5th March
2017
Public Open Evening - Spring Moon Watch Sold Out!
Moon & Orion Nebula
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Friday,
10th March
2017
"Let's Erupt Together" (Volcanoes and their Effects)
A talk by Michael Maunder
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...

Astronomical Events for February 2017

Moon

3 Feb – 18:00 UT – A good time to look for the ‘Lunar X’.  To locate it look for the craters La Caille, Purbach and Blanchinus on the terminator.  The ‘X’ will be fully formed at 20:00 UT and disappears at 23:00 UT.  Further north it may be possible to see the ‘Lunar V’ which is near the crater Ukert.

8 Feb – A good time to view the eastern limb of the Moon due to libration.

10-11 Feb – 22:34 UT to 02:53 UT – Penumbral eclipse of the Moon where the northern limb will show some dimming.  The event starts at 22:34 UT and reaches greatest immersion into the shadow at 00:44 UT.

27 Feb – Try looking for a 1% lit Moon approximately 30 minutes after sunset.  It will be low in the west.

28 Feb – 19:30 UT – Looking in the west, Venus will be 11° north of the crescent Moon.

Planets

1 Feb – 19:00 UT – Venus, Mars and the Moon will be in a line and can be found in the southwest.

13 Feb – 00:51 UT – Ganymede is eclipsed by Jupiter, reappearing at 03:24 UT; it is then occulted by the planet at 05:22 UT before reappearing at 07:21 UT.

15-16 Feb – Jupiter reaches its first stationary point before moving in a retrograde motion.  From 02:00 UT on the 16th the planet will be near Spica and the Moon.

16 Feb – 03:14 UT – Io’s shadow starts to transit Jupiter’s disc, followed by Io at 04:15 UT.  Callisto will be passing very close to the planet’s northern limb.

17 Feb – Venus is at its brightest, mag. -4.6.

23-24 Feb – 22:37 UT to 00:34 UT – Ganymede transits Jupiter’s disc.

26 Feb – 20:00 UT – Uranus will be 34 arcminutes to the south of Mars.

Comets

11 Feb – Early hours – Comet 45P/Handa-Mrkos-Pajdusakova passes close to NGC 6210 in Hercules.

12-13 Feb – Comet 45P/Handa-Mrkos-Pajdusakova can be found inside the semicircle of Corona Borealis until 02:00 UT, but the Moon makes finding the comet a challenge.

19 Feb – 05:00 UT – Comet 45P/Handa-Mrkos-Pajdusakova is beginning to fade, try to locate it in Canes Venatici when it will be 1° south of the Whale Galaxy.

20 Feb - Comet 45P/Handa-Mrkos-Pajdusakova will be about 2.5° north of Gamma Comae Berenices and will be near Melotte 111, an open cluster.

23-28 Feb – Early evening – Comet 2P/Encke is predicted to be at mag. +7.0 and will be travelling through Pisces.

Occultations

5 Feb – early evening – The Moon occults several stars in the Hyades, just missing Aldebaran.

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

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

Tuesday 21st February - 3.30pm - Stars on Frosty Winter Nights

Wednesday 22nd February - 1.30pm - Hubble's Glorious Universe

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 between next month and 6 months...

Saturday,
1st April
2017
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon
- start time 7:45pm

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Sunday,
2nd April
2017
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon
- start time 7:45pm

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Friday,
21st April
2017
Transient Events in the Universe
A talk by Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Friday,
12th May
2017
13 Journeys Through Space and Time
A talk by Colin Stuart
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Friday,
9th June
2017
Space Warps: Citizen Scientist Powered Gravitational Lens Discovery
A talk by Dr Aprajita Verma
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Friday,
14th July
2017
Brave new worlds: the planets in our galaxy
A talk by Professor Giovanna Tinetti
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 8th March 2017 -- Earth's Magnetosphere and Aurora -- Talk by Dr Robert Fear (University of Southampton

Wednesday 26th April 2017 -- NASA Juno Mission to Jupiter -- Talk by Dr Emma Bunce (University of Leicester)

Wednesday 10th May 2017 -- Euclid: A mission to map the dark Universe -- Talk by Dr Dida Markovic (University of Portsmouth)

Wednesday 14th June 2017 -- When Galaxies Collide -- Talk by Professor Carolin Crawford (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

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

Friday,
13th October
2017
Title TBA
A talk by Professor Lucie Green
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Friday,
10th November
2017
Astrobiology : Tour of the Solar System
A talk by William Joyce
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Friday,
8th December
2017
Cosmology (details to come later)
A talk by Dr Chris Pearson
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Friday,
9th March
2018
TBA
A talk by Dr Samantha Penny
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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After Dark at Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium

After Dark: adults only

Wednesday 15th March, Thursday 27th April, Wednesday 24th May, Wednesday 21st June & Wednesday 19th July.

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 20th February 2017 for details to book yourself onto this course click here