Hampshire Astronomical Group

Established 1960, Online since 1998

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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,
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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Astronomical Events for April 2017

Moon

3 April – 22:20 BST – Try looking for the “Lunar X” which is created by a lighting effect.  It can be found on the rim of the Blanchiunus, La Caille and Purback craters.

23 April – 05:00 BST – A good time to photograph the Moon and Venus, look for them in the east.

Planets

1 April – Mercury reaches greatest eastern elongation.  Look for the planet in the west about 40 minutes after sunset.

1-8 April – Last chance to view Mercury before it gets too close to the Sun.

4 April – Jupiter’s shadow eclipses Io (01:40 BST) and Ganymede (05:38 BST).  Io will reappear at 03:57 BST.

7 April – Jupiter is at opposition and will be observable for 6 hours.  At 21:55 BST Ganymede will start to transit the planet while perfectly lined up with its own shadow.  The transit ends at 21:55 BST.

14 April – 22:57 BST to 01:52 BST – Transit of Jupiter by Ganymede.  The moon starts its transit at 22:57 BST, followed by its shadow at 23:28 BST.  The transit of Ganymede ends at 01:01 BST with its shadow leaving the disc at 01:52 BST.

22 April – 02:12 BST – 05:49 BST – Ganymede transits Jupiter.

30 April – At mag. -4.4 Venus will be at its brightest this morning, however it will be difficult to see in the eastern pre-dawn sky.

Comets

6 April – Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák is predicted to be at its peak brightness of mag. +6.6, making it an observable object using binoculars.

12 April – Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák is a perihelion and will be at a distance of 0.14 AU.  It may be a naked eye object in Draco.

19 April – Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák will be at predicted mag. +6.8 and lies close to Rastaban (Beta Draconis).  Look for the comet in the early hours of the morning.

24 April – Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák will be approximately 2° from Iota Herculis which lies approximately 6° south of the four stars which form the head of Draco.

Occultations

13/14 April – 23:34 UT to 01:48 BST – Occultation of Gamma Librae by the Moon.  The star will reappear from behind the Moon’s north-western quadrant.

28 April – 19:08 BST to 20:00 BST – Daylight occultation of Aldebaran which starts at approximately 19:08 BST and ends about 20:00 BST.  At 21:30 BST the Moon will be near Aldebaran, Mars will be 9° to the right and the Pleiades 6° to the right of Mars.

Meteor Showers

22 April – Peak of the Lyrid meteor shower with a ZHR of 10-20 meteors an hour.

Jupiter Image Credit: NASA
Comet Image Credit: Steve Furcher

Sun Live at the Clanfield Observatory

Sun Live Event - See The Sun In All Its Explosive Glory !

Clanfield Observatory offer a rare chance to see the Sun's surface in real time using special Sun Filters.
Depending on the weather conditions and the activity on the Sun this is a chance to see Prominences and Sun Spots using Hydrogen Alpha and other special Filters.
Should the weather prevent views of the Sun we will give a tour of the observatory and an illustrated talk about the Sun.

Entrance is exclusively by pre purchased tickets priced at £5:00 Adults £3 for 16 and under each. (Minimum age 8 years old).

We have set two dates for this event. Saturday 17th June & Saturday 22nd July. Start time on these dates will be 1pm and will finish around 3pm
 
For tickets please fill in a booking form on the Sun Live page of the web site.

Sun Live Booking Form Click Here

Image credit: Phil Reed

Astronomy Festival

Come and join SolarSphere for a relaxing camping weekend in the countryside under dark skies where you can bring your scopes to observe (or look through volunteers scopes)!  There will be Astronomical talks, workshops, planetarium and live music with a little comedy thrown in too!

A family friendly, relaxed yet educational weekend with plenty of time to chill out and enjoy the beautiful setting of the countryside!

BTW!!!!  For those who purchase tickets before April 30th, you will be entered into a prize draw to win your very own 'Personal Planetarium Device' courtesy of Universe2Go.  These retail at around £85!  More info here: Click Here 

To buy your tickets for this event please go to the SolarSphere Website

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

Monday 1st May - 3.30pm - Seven Wonders of the Solar System

Sunday 14th May - 3.30pm - Springtime Stars, Moons and Planets

Friday 19th May - 7.30pm - Springtime Stars and Galaxies

Sunday 21st May - 3.30pm - Jupiter and Saturn: The Mighty Giants

Monday 29th May - 3.30pm - All Aboard - A Tour of the Planets

Wednesday 31st May - 3.30pm - Hubble's View on the Universe FULL DOME SHOW

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...

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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Saturday,
17th June
2017
Sun Live at the Clanfield Observatory
- start time 1:00pm

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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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Saturday,
22nd July
2017
Sun Live at the Clanfield Observatory
- start time 1:00pm

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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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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

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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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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 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)

Wednesday 12th July 2017 - The Medical Implications of Space Flight - Talk by Steven Cutts FRCS

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...

Saturday,
28th October
2017
Public Open Evening
Targets to be sorted
Clanfield Observatory - start time 7:15pm

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Sunday,
29th October
2017
Public Open Evening
Targets to be sorted
Clanfield Observatory - start time 7:15pm

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Friday,
10th November
2017
Could Life Exist Elsewhere in the Solar System?
A talk by William Joyce
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Saturday,
25th November
2017
Public Open Evening
Targets to be sorted
Clanfield Observatory - start time 7:15pm

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Sunday,
26th November
2017
Public Open Evening
Targets to be sorted
Clanfield Observatory - start time 7:15pm

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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
Title TBA
A talk by Michael Maunder
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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

More details...

After Dark at Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium

After Dark: adults only

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