Hampshire Astronomical Group

Established 1960, Online since 1998

Observatory Accessibility

CAUTION

More details...

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,
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...

Astronomical Events for February 2018

Moon

1-2 Feb – The dwarf planet Ceres can be seen in Cancer, look for it in the constellation’s north-eastern star fields.

16 Feb – 15 mins after Sunset – Look for Venus in the west southwest, 1.1° south of Venus will be a 20.3 hours old Moon which will appear as a very thin crescent.  Use binoculars or a telescope to find it, although it may be visible to the naked eye if the conditions are really transparent.

22 Feb – 16:10 UT – Try and find the Lunar X which is caused by the Clair-obscur effect.  Locate the La Caille and Blanchinus craters, as the sunlight passes over the nearly abutted rims of the craters the Lunar X will appear.  It takes 2½ hours for the X to appear and will be visible for approximately 1 hour, after which it will take 70 minutes to fade.  A 2” refractor is the minimum equipment required to view this phenomenon, although it may be possible to view the X using binoculars mounted on a tripod.

Planets

6-8 Feb – pre-dawn – Jupiter can be seen near the Moon.  The 8th Feb is a good time to take a wide-field image of Jupiter and the Moon.

10 Feb – 02:36-04:20 UT – Jupiter’s moon Ganymede will transit the planet’s north polar region.  Best to start observing from 02:20 UT as the moon approaches Jupiter.

11 Feb – Saturn will be 4° southeast of the Moon and can be seen just before 06:00 UT.  Look for them in the southeast where they will be low above the horizon.

12 Feb – Mars will be 5° north of Antares (‘rival of Mars’) which means it is a good opportunity to compare the two.

17 Feb – 01:28 UT – Transit of Ganymede’s shadow across Jupiter.  The transit lasts for about 2 hours.

24 Feb – 05:27-07:25 UT – Ganymede’s shadow transits Jupiter.

28 Feb – Try and find Mercury which will be 2.5° west of Venus, look for them just after sunset.

Comets/Asteroids

25 Feb – Asteroid 51 Nemausa (+10 mag) reaches opposition today and can be found in Sextans.

Occultations

8 Feb – 03:12 UT – The Moon occults Gamma Librae, with Jupiter 4.75° southwest of the Moon.  Time is for central UK.

23 Feb – 16:33-17:42 UT – Daylight occultation of Aldebaran by the Moon.  Start observing from 16:23 UT.

Misc

13 Feb – 22:00 UT – Good time to look at Castor (Alpha Geminorum).

14 Feb – 23:30 UT – Cancer, which is a faint constellation, will be due south and today is a good time to view M44 and M67.

20 Feb – 19:00 UT – Try and find the Pup, the white dwarf star companion of Sirius which can be located due south.

Moon Image Credit: Steve Broadbent
Jupiter Image Credit: NASA
Saturn Image Credit: NASA

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

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

More details...
Friday,
11th May
2018
The Day They Launched a Woodpecker!
A talk by Jerry Stone FBIS FRAS
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Friday,
8th June
2018
Blexit: Exiting the Universe via black hole
A talk by Dr Poshak Gandhi
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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

More details...

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 2nd March - 7.30pm - One Small Step for Major Tim, A Giant Leap Towards Mars FULL DOME SHOW

Saturday 3rd March - 1.30pm - How to Choose and Use Your New Telescope

Sunday 4th March - 3.30pm - Stars on Frosty Winter Nights

Friday 23rd March - 7.30pm - The Northern Lights

Sunday 25th March - 3.30pm - Springtime Stars, Moon and Planets

Friday 30th March - 3.30pm - The Easter Full Moon

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

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:

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