Hampshire Astronomical Group

Established 1960, Online since 1998

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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...

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

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

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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...

Astronomical Events for December 2019


Moon

6 December – evening – Try and see the clair-obscur effect known as The Jewelled Handle which appears when the peaks of the Jura Mountains surrounding Sinus Iridum catches the light.

15 December – It will be possible to see the clair-obscur effect known as the Twin Spires of Messier, to view this effect find the craters Messier and Messier A.

Planets

1 December – Saturn, Venus and Jupiter will appear close to each other this evening.

3 December – 02:00 UT – Minor planet Pallas is in conjunction with the Sun.

4 December – 12:40 UT – Callisto’s shadow transits Jupiter.

4 December – 18:00 UT – Neptune appears 4.7° north of the Moon.

8 December – 18:00 UT – Uranus will be 5.5° north-west of the Moon.

11 December – Venus will appear 1.8° south of Saturn this evening after sunset, where they will be low in the sky.

23 December – 06:00 UT – Looking low in the southeast, it will be possible to see Mars and the crescent Moon, they will be separated by 3.2°.

27 December – 16:30 UT – Saturn and the Moon will be separated by 2.8°.  They can be found low in the southeast.

27 December – 18:00 UT – Jupiter is in conjunction with the Sun.

28 December – 17:30 UT – Looking low in the southwest, Venus will appear above and to the left the crescent Moon, they will be 4.8° apart.

29 December – 17:30 UT – The 12% lit Moon will appear 6.9° left and just above Venus and can be seen low in the southwest.

31 December – 18:00 UT – Neptune will be 5.7° north of the Moon.

Comets

14 December – Comet C/2017 T2 PanSTARRS appears close to NGC 1545 and NGC 1528 in Perseus.  You can observe the comet over the next few days.

9 December – Comet 21/Borisov, the first interstellar comet to be identified, reaches peak brightness of +15.3, and can be found in Hydra.  A large telescope is needed to view it, or you can take a photograph.

Meteor Showers

13/14 December – Peak of the Geminid meteor shower, however the Moon will spoil the view.

22 December – 03:00 UT – Peak of the Ursid meteor shower which has a ZHR of 10 meteors an hour.

Miscellaneous

20 December – midnight UT – Orion reaches its highest point in the sky, and if you have dark skies then this is a good time to try and image Barnard’s Loop.

22 December – 04:00 UT – Winter Solstice.

Moon Image Credit: Steve Knight
Saturn & 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   

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...

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

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

More details...
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

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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 Sold Out!
- start time 8:30pm

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Friday,
17th April
2020
Manufacturing of Launchers, Spacecraft and Satellites - How materials survive in Space
A talk by Andrew Norman
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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

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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