Hampshire Astronomical Group

Established 1960, Online since 1998

Observatory Accessibility

GOOD

More details...

Hampshire Astronomical Group welcome you!

Thank you for visiting our website

The Hampshire Astronomical Group operating from its Clanfield Observatory base on the borders of the villages of Horndean and Clanfield is reputed to be one of the best equipped amateur observatories in the UK.

Situated in the beautiful South Downs National Park we aim to bring the beauty of the night sky to the people of Hampshire and surrounding areas.

We hold many outreach events both at the observatory and further afield supported by our many volunteers who are keen to share their knowledge with you.

We hold monthly pre-booked open weekend evenings either 2 or 3 nights per month throughout the autumn to spring and in addition, during the summer, we hold solar observing sessions at the observatory. We also accommodate private group visits on selected evenings by prior arrangement – see our school and club visits page.

We run astronomy courses and the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme at the observatory and offer outside speakers to organisations wanting a talk on some aspect of astronomy.

We have well nurtured relationships with organisations such as the South Downs Planetarium in Chichester, Winchester Science Centre, South Downs National Park and a number of colleges and Universities in Hampshire. We collaborate closely with the University of Portsmouth Physics Department and have good links with the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, also at the University of Portsmouth.

We hold monthly public lectures at the Clanfield Memorial Hall in South Lane (details below) often given by eminent speakers where members of the public are welcome to attend. No prior booking is necessary.

You can follow the activities of the Hampshire Astronomical Group by regularly visiting this website or follow us on our Facebook page.

Graham Bryant FRAS
President:  Hampshire Astronomical Group

What's on in the next month...

Sunday,
29th September
2019
BAA Asteroid and Remote Planet Section meeting hosted by Hampshire Astronomical Group
Other / Misc. Meeting
- start time 9:30am
Saturday,
5th October
2019
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Sunday,
6th October
2019
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Friday,
11th October
2019
Wonders of the Universe: A TripAdvisor Top 10
A talk by Professor Brad Gibson
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...

Astronomical Events for September 2019


Moon

5 September – evening – The Moon will be 6.5° west of Jupiter, and Antares will be nearby as well.

6 September – evening – The Moon will be 5.7° east of Jupiter.

8 September – The Moon will be 3° east-southeast of Saturn.

9 September – Good time to look for the clair obscure effect known as Cassini’s Moon Maiden which is when the part of the Promontorium Heraclides becomes illuminated giving the profile of a girl looking out across Sinus Iridum.

14 September – Harvest Moon.

29 September – A 1%-lit Moon will be 3.2° above Venus, and 6° left of Venus is Mercury.

Planets

1 September – Minor planet 21 Lutetia is about 1.5° west of 20 Ceti (mag. +4.8) and will continue in a southwest direction passing through Cetus, the Whale, and will reach opposition on the 28 September when it will be at mag. +9.4.

6 September – Neptune will be close to phi Aquarii.

10 September – Mercury reaches opposition.

10 September – Neptune will be at its closest to Earth and can be found in Aquarius using binoculars or a small telescope, although it will be difficult target to find as it will be mag. +7.8.  It will start rising at 19:25 BST and will be 30° above the southern horizon at  01:00 BST (11 September).

13 September – just after sunset – Mercury will be 8.6 arcminutes from Venus, look for them low in the western horizon, and ensure that the Sun has set before trying to view them using binoculars.  It is possible to see the two planets during the day but solar filters must be used and you must know what you are doing, so please do not take risks.

September – Saturn will be visible for approximately 2½ hours each evening from the start of September with the viewing window reducing to 1½ hours by the end of the month, however from London it will only be 16° above the horizon.

Meteor Showers

1 September – Peak of the Alpha Aurigid meteor shower which has a ZHR of only 4 meteors an hour.

9 September – Peak of the Epsilon Perseid meteor shower which has a ZHR of 5 meteors an hour, so not a strong meteor shower.

Comets

1 September – Comet 2018 W2 (Africano) will be tracking down through Perseus (north-east direction), and will be approximately 40° above the horizon at midnight BST.  For more information see the September 2019 edition of Astronomy Now.

Miscellaneous

2 September – Triton, Neptune’s largest moon, is at southern elongation and will be 15 arcseconds south of the planet.  Other opportunities to view Triton will occur on 11, 12, 17, 18, 23 and 29 September when it will be in the same position.

30 September – 01:00 BST – With no Moon, tonight is a good opportunity to view M31, the Andromeda Galaxy.

23 September – 08:50 BST – September equinox when the Sun crosses the celestial equator.

September – sunrise – if you have a crystal-clear night and a dark site without street lights it may be possible to see the Zodiacal Light, which is a triangle of light extending upwards from the horizon.

Moon Image Credit: Steve Knight
Mercury Image Credit: NASA
Meteor Image Credit: Stellarium

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. 

The South Downs Planetarium recently welcomed it 250,000th visitor since the planetarium opened in 2001. This was a significant milestone in the Charity's aim of bringing the wonders and glory of the universe and the night sky to the general public.

Members of the public are welcome to visit the Planetarium at the show times listed on this website.

Public Shows and Dates   

Friday 20th September - 7.30pm - Our Galaxy The Milky Way
 
Saturday 21st September - 1pm - How to Choose & Use a Telescope
 
Sunday 22nd September - 3.30pm - The Northern Lights
 
Friday 11th October -- 7.30pm - Autumn Stars, Moon & Planets
 
Sunday 13th October -- 3.30pm -- Voyage to Saturn Lord of the Rings
 
Friday 18th October -- 7.30pm -- The Northern Lights
 
Sunday 20th October -- 3.30pm -- Autumn Stars, Moon & Planets
 

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/

Images credit:- Southdowns Planetarium 

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

Friday,
8th November
2019
The Consequences of Contact with ET
A talk by Martin Griffiths
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Saturday,
9th November
2019
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Sunday,
10th November
2019
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Saturday,
7th December
2019
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Sunday,
8th December
2019
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Friday,
13th December
2019
X-Ray Binaries
A talk by Dr Nick Higginbottom
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Saturday,
4th January
2020
Public Open Evening
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Sunday,
5th January
2020
Public Open Evening
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Friday,
10th January
2020
ExoMars Rover Mission
A talk by John Chinner & Yuri
Clanfield Observatory - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Saturday,
1st February
2020
Public Open Evening
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Sunday,
2nd February
2020
Public Open Evening
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Friday,
14th February
2020
Rebel Star: The Sun's Greatest Mysteries
A talk by Colin Stuart
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Saturday,
29th February
2020
Public Open Evening
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Sunday,
1st March
2020
Public Open Evening
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Friday,
13th March
2020
The Antikythera Mechanism
A talk by John Lancashire
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...

BAA Section Meeting - Sunday September 29th 2019

The Asteroids and Remote Planets Section of the British Astronomical Association will be holding a section meeting in the Clanfield Memorial Hall on Sunday September 29th, 2019, Hosted by the Hampshire Astronomical Group.  

The day will be devoted to both asteroids and exoplanets and there will be talks on both subjects, including Anastasia Kokori discussing the ARIEL mission and amateur support for it

PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL ATTENDEES (OTHER THAN DESIGNATED HELPERS) MUST PRE-BOOK VIA THE BAA WEBSITE

The entry fee is £3 for BAA members and members of affiliated societies and £5 for non-members. For more details and to book your place please visit the BAA website https://britastro.org/arps2019#event_booking

Roger Dymock
ARPS Assistant Director Exoplanets

Image of Ultima Thule & Exoplanet image credit: NASA

Agenda

  • 9.30am Doors Open
  • 10am to 10.15am - Welcome by Richard Miles - Chairperson 
  • 10.15am to 10.45am - Presentation 1 - Richard Miles - Asteroid Section status, future projects, mtgs (WWE section mtg, Exoplanet workshop)
  • 10.45am to 11.15am - Presentation 2 - Peter Birtwhistle - Asteroids - subject TBC
  • 11.15am to 11.45am - Tea Break
  • 11.45am to 12.30pm - Presentation 3 - Professional astronomer - tba - Exoplanet mission - ARIEL - RM to arange
  • 12.30pm to 13.30pm - Lunch break
  • 13.30pm to 2pm - Presentation 4 - Roger Dymock - Exoplanet Division status, future projects
  • 2pm to 2.30pm - Presentation 5 - Peta Bosley - Astrobiology, intro to, courses
  • 2.30pm to 3pm - Presentation 6 - Steve Futcher - Exoplanet projects - mentoring University of Portsmouth students
  • 3pm to 3.30pm - Tea break
  • 3.30pm to 4pm - Presentation 7 - Tim Haymes - Asteroid occultations
  • 4pm to 4.30pm - Presentation 8 - Mark Salisbury - Exoplanet transit imaging
  • 4.30pm to 5pm - Presentation 9 - Martin Fowler - Exoplanet observations using the MicroObservatory Robotic Telescope Network
  • 5pm to 5.15pm - Question time with Richard Miles & Roger Dymock - Questions and comments from attendees
  • 5.15pm to 5.20pm - Closing comments by Richard Miles

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 18th September 2019 - A Journey Through the Universe and Back - Talk by Dr. Francesco Shankar (University of Southampton)

Wednesday 16th October 2019 - TBA

Wedensday 20th November 2019 - How to heat up Dark Matter - Talk by Professor Justin Read (University of Surrey)

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  Winchester Science Centre.

 Image Credit: © Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium.

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

Saturday,
4th April
2020
Public Open Evening -- Adult Only Evening
- start time 8:30pm

More details...
Sunday,
5th April
2020
Public Open Evening -- Adult Only Evening
- start time 8:30pm

More details...
Friday,
15th May
2020
TBA
A talk by Nick James
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Friday,
12th June
2020
TBA: HOYS-CAPS / Star Formation
A talk by Dr Dirk Froebrich
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: -  For details to book yourself onto this course click here

Monitoring the Oceans from Space: - For details to book yourself onto this course click here

How to Survive on Mars: the Science Behind the Human Exploration of Mars:- For details to book yourself onto this course click here