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.

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...

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

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

More details...
Friday,
13th December
2019
ExoMars Rover Mission
A talk by John Chinner & Yuri
Clanfield Observatory - start time 7:45pm

More details...

Astronomical Events for November 2019


Moon

2 November – The Moon will be 5.5° east of Saturn.

8 November – Look for Promontorium Heraclides, which can be found on the southern edge of Sinus Iridum, and it may be possible to see the clair-obscur effect known as Cassini’s Moon Maiden.

13-14 November – The Moon can be seen passing through the northern region of the Hyades open cluster.  At 04:30 UT Aldebaran will be 2.5° south of the Moon.

18 November – The Moon lies 3.3° west of M44 (the Beehive Cluster).

21 November – Libration means it is a good time to view Crater Einstein which can be seen on the western limb of the Moon.

25 November – 06:30 UT – A 2%-lit Moon can be seen 2.7° east of Mercury.

Planets

9 November – 15:10 UT – The shadow of Jupiter’s moon Ganymede starts to transit across the planet’s disc, however it will still be daylight making this a difficult object to observe.

12 November – 05:30 UT – Mars will be 3° from Spica (Alpha Virginis), they will be rising above the east-southeast horizon.

12 November – Minor planet 4 Vesta reaches opposition, and can be found in Cetus.

23/24/25 November – just after sunset – Venus and Jupiter will be close and can be seen low in the southeast horizon.  On the 24 November they will be 1.4° apart.

24 November – Mercury, Mars and the Moon can be seen close to each other, look for them low in the east-southeast horizon.

28 November – after sunset – Looking low in the southwest, Venus, the Moon and Jupiter appear in a line.

29 November – after sunset – Saturn, the Moon, Venus and Jupiter will be close to one another, look for them low in the southwest.

Occultations

28 November – Jupiter is occulted by a 4%-lit Moon.  A flat southeast horizon will be needed to see Jupiter appear from behind the crescent Moon at 10:29 UT.  As it will be daylight it is advised to start observing from 10:20 UT in order to find the Moon, a high magnification will help to reduce contrast and if it is hazy use a slightly longer focal length eyepiece.

Transits

11 November – Transit of Mercury across the Sun.  The transit starts at 12:35 UT (first contact), greatest transit will be at 15:19 UT, however contacts 3 and 4 occur after sunset in the UK.  For more information see pg 46 of the BBC Sky At Night magazine.  WARNING:  DO NOT LOOK AT THE SUN WITHOUT USING A SAFETY FILTER, AND ENSURE YOU HAVE CHECKED THE FILTER FOR ANY DAMAGE (even the smallest pinprick hole is dangerous).  If you don’t have a filter, try projecting the image on to a piece of white card (see pg 58 of Astronomy Now).

Meteor Showers

10 November – Peak of the Northern Taurid meteor shower which has a ZHR of 4 meteors an hour.

17 November – Peak of the Leonid meteor shower with a ZHR of 10-20 meteors per hour, however the Moon will spoil the view.

Moon Image Credit: Steve Knight
Jupiter Image Credit: NASA

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   

Sunday 17th November -- 3.30pm -- Seven Wonders of the Solar System
 
Saturday 23rd November -- 7.30pm -- The Northern Lights
 
Friday 6th December -- 7.30pm -- The Night Sky this Christmas
 
Friday 20th December -- 7.30pm -- The Night Sky this Christmas
 
Sunday 22nd December -- 1.30pm -- The Star of Bethlehem
 
Sunday 22nd December -- 3.30pm -- The Star of Bethlehem
 
Monday 23rd December -- 1.30pm -- The Star of Bethlehem
 
Monday 23rd December -- 3.30pm -- The Star of Bethlehem
 
Tuesday 24th December -- 3.30pm -- The Star of Bethlehem
 
Friday 27th December -- 3.30pm -- All Aboard a Tour of the 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...

Saturday,
4th January
2020
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

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

More details...
Friday,
10th January
2020
The Consequences of Contact with ET
A talk by Martin Griffiths
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Saturday,
1st February
2020
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

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Sunday,
2nd February
2020
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

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

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Saturday,
29th February
2020
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday 18th December 2019 - The Music of Stars Reveals Their Deep Interiors - Talk by Dr Giovanni Mirouh

Wednesday 15th January 2020 - Dissecting dots: Exploring the diversity of Alien Life - Talk by Dr Ben Burningham

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...

Friday,
15th May
2020
Great Comets and Great disappointments
A talk by Nick James
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Friday,
12th June
2020
TBA: HOYS-CAPS / Star Formation
A talk by Dr Dirk Froebrich
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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