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...

11th December
The Antikythera Mechanism
A talk by John Lancashire
Via Zoom - start time 7:45pm

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Astronomical Events for November 2020


5 November – 01:00 UT – The Moon starts to occult the southern part of M35, an open cluster in Gemini.

19 November – The Moon, Saturn and Jupiter form a right-angled triangle.

30 November – The Full Moon is at apogee and will be at its furthest point in its orbit from Earth, it will appear smaller and dimmer and is known as a ‘micromoon’.

Clair-obscur Effects

9 November – morning – Good time to observe the clair-obscur effect known as the Curtiss Cross formed from relief features near the crater Frau Mauro H.

22 November – 14:00 UT – It should be possible to view the lunar X and V which peaks after 14:00 during daylight hours.

22 November – evening – Try and find the Face in Albategnius using a high magnification.


3 November – early evening – 5° separates Jupiter and Saturn.

10 November – Mercury reaches greatest western elongation and can be seen in the east-southeast 2 hours before sunrise.

11 November – evening – Pluto and Jupiter will be 42 arcminutes apart.

13 November – 05:00 UT – Venus and the crescent Moon will be near each other and can be seen low in the east-southeast.  They will be joined by Mercury when it rises at 05:30 UT.

18 November – evening – Saturn, Jupiter and a crescent Moon will be close together where they can be seen in the southwest.  3.5° separates Saturn and Jupiter, and the Moon will be 10° west of Jupiter.

23 November – 18:00 UT – Neptune will be 5° north of the Moon.

26 November – early hours – Mars and the Moon will be separated by 4.9°.

27 November – 17:00 UT – Uranus can be seen 3° north of the Moon.

Meteor Showers

12 November – Peak of the Northern Taurid meteor shower with a ZHR of 5 meteors per hour.

15 November – Peak of the late Aurigid meteor shower which has a ZHR of 8.2 meteors per hour.

17 November – 11:00 UT – Peak of the Leonid meteor shower with a ZHR of 10-20 meteors an hour.  The best time to start looking for these meteors is after midnight on the 17 November.


Moon Image Credit: Steve Broadbent
Jupiter Image Credit: NASA
Meteor image Credit: Stellarium

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

8th January
A talk by Dr Steve Barrett
- start time 7:45pm

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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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9th April
Great Comets and Great disappointments
A talk by Nick James
Clanfield Memorial Hall - 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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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