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...

9th July
The effect of stellar activity on the detection of terrestial planets
A talk by Professor Don Pollacco
Clanfield Observatory - start time 8:00pm

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Astronomical Events for June 2021


9 June – The 1%-lit crescent Moon will clear the northeast horizon just before sunrise, to see this will require a flat horizon.

Moon – Clair-obscur Effects

13 June – There will be two clair-obscur effect visible tonight: the Eye of Clavius at 21:00 BST, and Plato’s Hook at 22:30 BST.


1 June – 04:00 BST – Jupiter will be about 7° north-west of the waning Moon, they will be low above the southeast horizon.

2 June – morning – Europa’s shadow will cross Jupiter’s disc.  At 02:50 BST the shadow can be seen in the centre of the planet’s disc, at 04:00 BST the shadow will leave the disc.

3 June – 04:00 BST – Neptune will be 5° north of the Moon.

5 June – 01:30 BST – The shadows of Io and Ganymede will appear on Jupiter’s disc as the planet rises; Io’s shadow will leave first followed by Ganymede’s at 03:17 BST.

6 June – 23:00 BST – Asteroid 3 Juno (mag. +10.1) reaches opposition and can be found in Ophiuchus.

7 June – 02:36-02:41 BST – Partial eclipse of Europa by Io’s shadow, look for the darkening of Europa’s northern limb.

10 June – 01:15 BST – As Jupiter rises there will be a transit of Callisto, the transit ends at 03:30 BST.

11 June – 30 minutes after sunset – Venus will be low above the northwest horizon, and approximately 5° from it will be a 1%-lit crescent Moon.

12 June – 06:30 BST – Venus and the Moon will be 42 arcminutes apart in the northeast horizon.  At 22:30 BST, they will be 6.3° apart near the northwest horizon.

13 June – 23:00 BST – Looking in the west-northwest horizon, you will be able to see Mars which appears 2° south of the Moon.

26 June – Callisto’s shadow starts to transit Jupiter’s disc at 04:40 BST, followed by Io’s shadow at 06:00 BST.

30 June – 23:00 BST – Looking in the west-northwest horizon, Venus will appear 7.5° west of Mars.


All month – Noctilucent cloud season which can be seen 90-120 minutes after sunset in the northwest horizon, or 90-120 before sunrise in the northeast horizon.

10 June – 10:00-12:35 BST – Partial solar eclipse with the Moon covering 23.6% of the Sun’s surface in Birmingham, and 36.8% in Lochinver.  To view the eclipse safely, project the solar disc on to a piece of white card using a telescope or binoculars.  Viewing through a telescope will require a solar filter or Baader AstroSolar film which must have no holes or scratches.  DO NOT LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY AS THIS MAY DAMAGE YOUR EYES.

21 June – 04:32 BST – Northern Hemisphere’s Summer Solstice.

Jupiter images credit: NASA

Noctilucent clouds image credit: Steve Knight

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

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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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