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...

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

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

More details...
Friday,
9th February
2018
A 3 year journey to asteroid Bennu followed by 5 secs of terror.
A talk by John Maclean FRAS
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...

Astronomical Events for January 2018

Moon

2 Jan – The perigee full Moon, or so-called Supermoon, will appear to be the largest and brightest of the year.

26 Jan – evening – A good opportunity to view the lunar ‘Jewelled Handle’.  Look for the tops of the Jura mountains, which border Sinus Iridum, as they catch their first light after lunar dawn.

31 Jan – The second full Moon of the month making it the Blue Moon.

Planets

1 Jan – Mercury reaches greatest western elongation and will appear to be 22.7° from the Sun.

5 Jan – 04:30 UT – Jupiter is transited by Ganymede and Europe.  Europa’s transit starts at about 04:35 UT and ends at 06:49 UT.  Ganymede’s transit starts at 05:52 UT.  At 06:13 UT Io will reappear from behind Jupiter’s southeast limb.

7 Jan – morning – Jupiter and Mars will appear 13 arcminutes apart.

12 Jan – 05:08 UT to 07:25 UT – Double shadow transit of Jupiter.  Europa’s shadow will start crossing Jupiter at 05:08 UT, and Ganymede’s at 05:40 UT.  By 06:30 UT both shadows will be centrally placed on Jupiter’s disc.  At 07:15 UT Europa itself will start to transit Jupiter and both shadows will be close to the northwest limb.  Europa’s shadow will leave the disc at 07:25 UT and Ganymede’s at 07:34 UT.

15 Jan – 07:30 UT – Saturn, Mercury and the crescent Moon create a right-angled triangle.

Meteor Showers

3/4 Jan – Peak of the Quadrantids, although there will be a Full Moon to spoil the view.

Comets

4-5 Jan – Comet 2017 T1 Heinze (approximate mag. +9) can be found in Camelopardalis, and will be 33 million km from Earth today.

6 Jan – Comet C/2016 R2 PanSTARRS will be close to the ‘nose’ of Taurus.  Look for the star at the pointed end of the V-shaped Hyades.

Occultations

5 Jan – Daylight occultation of Regulus (Alpha Leonis) by the Moon.  To watch the Moon close in on Regulus, start observing from 07:30 UT when the star will be 0.5° to the east of the Moon’s eastern limb.  The star will be occulted at approximately 08:20 UT from the centre of the UK, and will reappear at about 09:16 UT.  Best to start watching for the occultation from 08:10 UT and for the reappearance from 09:05 UT.

Misc

3 Jan – The Earth is at perihelion when it will be at its closest point in orbit to the Sun.

14 Jan – 22:00 UT – This is a good time to observe/image M42 in Orion which can be seen due south.

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

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

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

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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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Friday,
13th July
2018
TBA
A talk by John D Timmins FRAS
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 21st Febraury 2018 - Dwarf Galaxies in the Local Group - Talk by Dr Noelia Noel (University of Surrey)

Wednesday 14th March 2018 - TBC

Wednesday 18th April 2018 - Cassini - Talk by Professor Emma Bunce (University of Leicester)

Wednesday 9th May 2018 - Black Holes in the Universe - Talk by Professor Rob Fender (University of Oxford)

Wednesday 13th June 2018 - The High Energy Universe - 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

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 26th January - 7.30pm - The Northern Lights 

Sunday 28th January - 3.30pm - Wintertime Stars, Moon and Planets

Friday 2nd February - 7.30pm - Comets - Icy Visitors from Space

Sunday 4th February - 3.30pm - Wintertime Stars, Moon and Planets

Sunday 11th February - 3.30pm - The Northern Lights 

Monday 12th February - 3.30pm - Stars on Frosty Winter Nights

Tuesday 13th February - 11.30am - One Small Step for Major Tim, A Giant Leap Towards Mars FULL DOME SHOW

Wednesday 14th February - 3.30pm - Distant World's: Alien Life  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 after the next 6 months...

Friday,
12th October
2018
Title TBA
A talk by Dr Ashley King
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

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

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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:

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

Monitoring the Oceans from Space: - Date to be announced for details to book yourself onto this course click here

Earth Observation from Space: the Optical View: - Date to be announced for details to book yourself onto this course click here