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...

Friday,
8th March
2019
The Pleiades: History, myths & science
A talk by Melanie Davies FRAS
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Friday,
15th March
2019
Public Open Evening - Spring Observing Session Sold Out!
Moon, Mars and Orion
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Saturday,
16th March
2019
Public Open Evening - Spring Observing Session Sold Out!
Moon, Mars and Orion
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Sunday,
17th March
2019
Public Open Evening - Spring Observing Session Sold Out!
Moon, Mars and Orion
- start time 7:15pm

More details...

Astronomical Events for February 2019


Moon

1 Feb – 06:15 UT – The Moon, Venus, and Jupiter are all visible low in the southeast, with Saturn appearing from 07:00 UT.

10 Feb – Good time to see the clair obscur effect Alexander’s Beaded Rim which appears on the western rim of the crater Alexander.

14 Feb – evening – Another clair obscur effect known as the Jewelled Handle which occurs when the peaks of the Jura mountains catch the early morning sunlight. These mountains surround Sinus Iridum.

19 Feb – 09:07 UT – The Moon is at perigee. The Full Moon will be at 15:53 UT and will be the closest Full Moon of 2019 at a distance of 356,761 km.

22 Feb – Good time to see the Twin Spires of Messier, a clair obscur effect seen on the rim of the Messier crater.

28 Feb – morning - The Moon will be 7.6° east of Jupiter, with Saturn also visible.

Planets

2 Feb – 07:00 UT – Saturn will be 0.4° west of the Moon.

2 Feb – 20:00 UT – Pluto will be 0.6° south of the Moon.

3 Feb – 05:30 UT – Shadow of Jupiter’s moon, Ganymede, will be on the planet’s disc.

5 Feb – morning – Venus will be 2° north of M20 (the Trifid Nebula).

5 Feb – evening – Mercury will be 3.6° from the Moon.

6 Feb – 17:30 UT – Minor planet Vesta will be 3° south-west of the Moon.

7 Feb – morning – Venus will be 19.5 arcminutes from Mu Sagittarii.

7 Feb – 18:00 UT – Mercury will be 5.5° south-west of the Moon.

10 Feb – morning – Venus will be 2° south of M25 (an open cluster).

12 Feb – evening – Mars and Uranus will be separated by 1°.

18 Feb – Venus will be about 1.1° north of Saturn and 6.2 arcminutes north of Albaldah (Pi Sagittarii). In the evening Mercury will appear to be 1° from Neptune, they can also be seen close together on the evening of the 19 Feb.

19 Feb – Venus, Saturn, and Albaldah appear as a triangle.

27 Feb – Mercury reaches greatest elongation.

Comets

4 Feb – Comet 46P/Wirtanen can be seen in Ursa Major where it will be all month. It should be a binocular object for the first half of February before fading to +10.1 mag.

Occultations

2 Feb – 06:20 UT – The Moon occults Saturn with the planet emerging from behind the Moon at 06:30 UT. They will be visible low in the southeast.

Moon Image Credit: Steve Knight
Jupiter & Mercury Images Credit: NASA

Sun Live at the Clanfield Observatory

Sun Live Event - See The Sun In All Its Explosive Glory !

Clanfield Observatory offer a rare chance to see the Sun's surface in real time using special Sun Filters.
Depending on the weather conditions and the activity on the Sun this is a chance to see Prominences and Sun Spots using Hydrogen Alpha and other special Filters.
Should the weather prevent views of the Sun we will give a tour of the observatory and an illustrated talk about the Sun.

Entrance is exclusively by pre purchased tickets priced at Adults - £5 each for 16 and under £3 each. (Minimum age 8 years old).

The date for this event is Saturday 22nd June 2019. Arrive time 12.45 for a 1pm start. The event will finish around 3pm
 
For tickets please fill in a booking form on the Sun Live page of the web site. Please note that tickets will need to be paid within one month of the date you book your places.

Sun Live Booking Form Click Here

Images credit: Phil Reed

The Apollo 50th Anniversary Celebration Open Evenings

To celebrate the Apollo 11 Moon Landing in July 1969 we will be having two Open Evenings based around the Apollo Missions.

The dates for these two evenings are Saturday 13th July & Sunday 14th July 2019. The arrive time for these events will be 7.45pm for an 8pm prompt start. 

Please note that due to how late these evenings will run we decided on making the two evenings Adults Only

Tickets will be £10.00 per adult.

The evening will start with a talk on the Apollo Missions followed by (weather permitting) observing the moon through our telescopes. 

To book for any of these dates please use the booking form on our Open Evening web page  

http://www.hantsastro.org.uk/openevenings/index.php

Apollo 11 Mission Patch Image Credit: NASA

BAA Section Meeting - Sunday September 29th 2019

The Asteroids and Remote Planets Section of the British Astronomical Association will be holding a section meeting in the Clanfield Hall on Sunday September 29th 2019. As you may be aware Hampshire Astronomical Group has kindly agreed to host this meeting and provide much of the organisational effort on the day, coordinated by Peta Bosley.

The day will be devoted to both asteroids and exoplanets and it is hoped to include a speaker from Hampshire Astronomical Group on both these topics.

PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL ATTENDEES (OTHER THAN DESIGNATED HELPERS) MUST PRE-BOOK VIA THE BAA WEBSITE

Those who help out on the day will get in free otherwise the entry fee is £3 for BAA members and members of affiliated societies and £5 for non-members. For more details and to book your place please visit the BAA website https://britastro.org/arps2019#event_booking

Roger Dymock
ARPS Assistant Director Exoplanets

Image of Ultima Thule & Exoplanet image credit: NASA

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

Friday,
12th April
2019
Gravity, dark energy and the dance of galaxies with Euclid
A talk by Dr Seshadri Nadathur
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Saturday,
13th April
2019
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Adults Only Observing Evening - Arrive 8.45pm - Starts 9pm - Finish 11pm
- start time 8:45pm

More details...
Sunday,
14th April
2019
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Adults Only Observing Evening - Arrive 8.45pm - Starts 9pm - Finish 11pm
- start time 8:45pm

More details...
Friday,
10th May
2019
Multimessenger Astronomy
A talk by Dr Stephen Webb
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Friday,
14th June
2019
Ten Ways the Universe Tries to Kill You
A talk by Stephen Tonkin FRAS
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Saturday,
22nd June
2019
Sun Live Event
Clanfield Observatory - start time 12:45pm

More details...
Friday,
12th July
2019
Asteroids - A Waste of Space?
A talk by Professor Malcolm Coe
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Saturday,
13th July
2019
The Apollo 50th Anniversary Celebration Open Evenings
To celebrate the Apollo 11 Moon Landing in July 1969
Clanfield Observatory - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Sunday,
14th July
2019
The Apollo 50th Anniversary Celebration Open Evenings
To celebrate the Apollo 11 Moon Landing in July 1969
Clanfield Observatory - start time 7:45pm

More details...

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 3rd April 2019 - The Great Orbital Debris Patch - Hugh Lewis (University of Southampton)

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.

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.

Members of the public are welcome to visit the Planetarium at the show times listed on this website.

Public Shows and Dates 

Thursday 21st February - 1.30pm - All Aboard - A tour of the Planets  Sold Out

Friday 22nd February - 3.30pm - Stars on Frosty Winter Nights

Sunday 24th February - 3.30pm - The Northern Lights  Sold Out

Friday 1st March - 7.30pm - The Northern Lights   Sold Out

Sunday 3rd March - 3.30pm - Hubbles Glorious Universe

Sunday 10th March - 3.30pm - The Northern Lights

Friday 15th March - 7.30pm - Stars on Frosty Winter Nights

Saturday 16th March - 1.30pm - Telescope Course at the Planetarium

Sunday 17th March - 3.30pm - First Humans on Mars   New Show Premiere

Sunday 24th March - 3.30pm - Springtime Stars Moon & 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 after the next 6 months...

Sunday,
29th September
2019
BAA Asteroid and Remote Planet Section meeting hosted by Hampshire Astronomical Group
Other / Misc. Meeting
- start time 9:00am
Friday,
11th October
2019
Wonders of the Universe: A TripAdvisor Top 10
A talk by Professor Brad Gibson
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Friday,
8th November
2019
The Consequences of Contact with ET
A talk by Martin Griffiths
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Friday,
10th January
2020
ExoMars Rover Mission
A talk by John Chinner & Yuri
Clanfield Observatory

More details...

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