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...

There are no events scheduled.

Astronomy for Beginners Course

Our popular astronomy course restarts this September in a new format.

For further details see Astronomy for Beginners.

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

10th September
Telescope Live (details tbc)
A talk by Alex Curry
Clanfield Observatory - start time 8:00pm

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8th October
The Fermi Paradox
A talk by Dr Stephen Webb
Zoom - start time 8:00pm

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10th December
Science of Santa
A talk by Dr Steve Barrett
Clanfield Memorial Hall OR Zoom TBC - start time 8:00pm

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14th January
Time in Einstein's Universe
A talk by Colin Stuart
ZOOM - Details to be confirmed - start time 8:00pm

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Astronomical Events for August 2021


2 August – morning – The crescent Moon will be 6.7° south of the Pleiades.

3 August – morning – The Moon will be 4.8° north of Aldebaran.

5 August – morning – The rising Moon will pass over the northern part of M35, with the event ending at 02:40 BST.

7 August – 04:00 BST – The 2%-lit waning crescent Moon can be seen low above the northeast horizon.

11 August – 21:00 BST – The Moon will be 5.5° east of Venus.

21 August – The full Moon is at opposition.


24 August – 04:30 BST – The close proximity of the terminator to Zeno E, an 18km-crater on the lunar northeast limb, produces the clair-obscur effect known as the ‘Zeno Steps’.


1 August – 02:30 BST – Uranus will be 2.5° north of the Moon.

1 August – 15:00 BST – Mercury is at superior conjunction.

1 August – 23:00 BST – Partial occultation of Jupiter’s moon Europa by Ganymede.

2 August – 19:14 BST – Saturn reaches opposition, using a telescope it may be possible to see the planet’s rings brightening, a phenomenon known as the ‘opposition effect’.

7 August – 03:22 BST – Jupiter’s moon Callisto will be eclipsed by the planet’s shadow.

9 August – 04:37-05:44 BST – Using a telescope, it will be possible to see Europa eclipsed by Ganymede’s shadow.

18 August – just after sunset – Mercury will be low above the western horizon.  Mars will be 10 arcminutes east of Mercury, although this will be a challenge to see as the sky will still be bright.

19 August – Jupiter is at opposition, and at 05:15 BST Io and Ganymede will be 2 arcseconds apart, look for them in the west-southwest horizon.

24 August – 03:00 BST – Neptune will be 4° north of the Moon.

28 August – 02:00 BST – Uranus can be seen 5° north-east of the Moon.


20 August – 02:50 BST – Jupiter’s moon Io and its shadow will start to cross the planet’s disc, and because of Jupiter’s opposition and equinox, Io and its shadow will overlap.

21 August – 21:15-23:35 BST – Transit of Io and its shadow across Jupiter’s disc.

22 August – As Jupiter rises, the transit of both Ganymede and Europa along with their shadows will be underway.

30 August – 21:00-04:22 BST – Transit of both Io and Ganymede and their shadows across Jupiter’s disc.  Io’s transit starts at 21:00 BST, ending with Ganymede’s shadow leaving the disc at 04:22 BST.


12/13 August – 20:00-03:30 BST – Peak of the Perseid meteor shower with a ZHR of 100 meteors an hour.

31 August – 22:17-22:35 BST – Peak of the Aurigid meteor shower with a ZHR of 50-100 meteors an hour.

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

11th February
Appley Bridge meteorite - The Space Rock that Hit Lancashire
A talk by Russell Parry
Zoom - start time 8:00pm

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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