Hampshire Astronomical Group

Established 1960, Online since 1998

Observatory Accessibility


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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. Our observatory is situated on the edge of beautiful South Downs National Park.

Like so many other organisations over the past three months, we too have had to close the observatory facilities and cease all activities due to the Coronovirus Pandemic. At the moment we have cautiously opened the observatory for members to use, but we are maintaining the social distancing guidance very closely.

Unfortunately we are not yet in a position to be able to open the observatory for visits by members of the public, although we are keeping this under constant review.

If you wish to visit the observatory we are expecting to be able to make some evenings available after the New Year; please keep an eye on our website for details. Priority will be given to those whose evening had to be cancelled due to the Lockdown announced in March 2020.

At some point we also hope to start the monthly public talks at the Clanfield Memorial Hall. Once again, please keep an eye on the website or our Facebook page, for such announcements.

In the meantime, thank you for visiting our website and we hope to see you in person in the not too distant future.

Graham Bryant FRAS
President:  Hampshire Astronomical Group

What's on in the next month...

12th February
Meteorite: The Stones From Outer Space That Made Our World
A talk by Dr Tim Gregory
Via Zoom - start time 7:45pm

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Astronomical Events for January 2021


1 January – 06:00 UT – The Moon will be 2.3° northwest of M44 (the Beehive Cluster).

10 January – 06:40 UT – The crescent Moon will be 5° from Antares, they can be seen low in the southeast horizon.

16 January – evening – Due to libration, it is a good time to see Mare Humboldtianum on the northeast limb.

21 January – 18:30 UT – The Moon and Mars will be 6.5° apart, with the planet northwest of the Moon.

Clair-obscur Effects

6 January – morning – The clair-obscur effect known as the Cutlass will be visible, this is formed by Rupes Recta (Straight Wall) and the Stag Mountains at the southern end.

20 January – 19:00 UT – The Lunar X and V will be visible.


1 January – 16:45 UT – Jupiter will be 1.2° east of Saturn.

8 January – 19:00 UT – Looking through a telescope you can see Solis Lacus, the ‘Eye of Mars’.

9 January – 16:50 UT – Mercury, Saturn and Jupiter will form a triangle less than 3° across, the planets will be very low in the southwest horizon.  Mercury is 1.7° south of Saturn.

10 January – evening – Mercury, Saturn and Jupiter will be even closer tonight; however, it will be tricky to observe the planets as they will be approximately 13° from the Sun.

11 January – 06:50 UT – Venus will be 6.7° east of the crescent Moon, look for them in the southeast.

11 January – 16:50 UT – Mercury, Saturn and Jupiter form a triangle in the southwest.  Mercury will be 1.5° south of Jupiter.

14 January – 17:00 UT – Looking low in the southwest horizon you will be able to see Jupiter, Mercury, Saturn and a very thin crescent Moon which will be 2.3° south of Mercury, for a short time only.

15 January – 18:00 UT – Using a telescope, it will be possible to see Syrtis Major, and to the south is Hellas.

20 January – Mars will be 1.6° north of Uranus.

22 January – Looking centrally on Mars, you can see the twin prongs of Sinus Gomer, however you will need a telescope to view this feature.

24 January – Mercury reaches greatest elongation and will be visible for nearly two hours after sunset in the southwest.

24 January – 02:00 UT – Saturn is in conjunction with the Sun.

29 January – 01:40 UT – Jupiter is in conjunction with the Sun and will become a morning object.


25 January – 23:00 UT – Start of the occultation of the southern two-thirds of M35 by the Moon.

Meteor Showers

3 January – 14:30 UT – Peak of the Quadrantid meteor shower with a ZHR of 120 meteors an hour; it is best to start watching on the night of 2/3 January during the build up to the peak and viewing on the 3/4 January will see its decline.


2 January – 13:50 UT – Earth is at perihelion when we are at our closest to the Sun (0.983257 AU).

Moon Image Credit: Steve Broadbent
Jupiter Image Credit: Mark Batehup
Saturn & Mercury Image Credit: NASA

Hampshire Sky

Hampshire Astronomical Group Online Magazine

The January 2021 edition of the Hampshire Sky has now been uploaded to our website.

To find the latest edition of the Hampshire Sky click here

If you have any images or articles you wish to have included in future issues please send them to the editor Gill England @ gill.england@hantsastro.org.uk or Steve Knight steve.knight@hantsastro.org.uk 

Images or articles need to be submitted by 1st April 2021 to make the May 2021 Issue. 


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

12th March
The Dangers of Forecasting the Solar Cycle
A talk by Dr Keith Strong
Clanfield Observatory - start time 7:45pm

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9th April
Great Comets and Great disappointments
A talk by Nick James
Zoom - start time 7:45pm

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14th May
You can almost touch the stars
A talk by Tom Field
by Zoom - start time 7:45pm

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

10th December
Science of Santa
A talk by Dr Steve Barrett
Clanfield Memorial Hall OR Zoom TBC - start time 7:45pm

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14th January
Time in Einstein's Universe
A talk by Colin Stuart
ZOOM - Details to be confirmed - start time 7:45pm

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