Hampshire Astronomical Group

Established 1960, Online since 1998

Observatory Accessibility

CAUTION

More details...

Hampshire Astronomical Group welcome you!

The Hampshire Astronomical Group, operates from its Clanfield Observatory on the border of the villages of Horndean and Clanfield, and is reputed to be one of the best equipped amateur observatories in the UK. The observatory is situated on the edge of the beautiful South Downs National Park.

From autumn to spring we run our very popular Open Evenings for the general public. These always book up very quickly so please keep an eye on the website for the release of new events.

We also take private visits from Guides, Scouts, U3A and other interested groups. Details can be found on the 'Schools and Club Visits' page.

Also popular are our astronomy courses which start in September and January. More details on these can be found in this website under ‘Astronomy Courses’ and then choosing ‘Astronomy for Beginners Course’.

Our monthly public lectures are held at Clanfield Memorial Hall. The latest program can be found on our ‘Public Talks page’. All are welcome and admission is £3 for non-members.

Thank you for visiting our website and we hope to see you in person in the not-too-distant future. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us via the ‘Contact Information’ page.

Steve Bosley
Chairman:  Hampshire Astronomical Group

 

What's on in the next month...

Friday,
14th June
2024
Eclipse and Revelation
A talk by Mike Frost FRAS
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 8:00pm

More details...
Saturday,
22nd June
2024
Public Sun Live
Clanfield Observatory - start time 1:00pm

More details...

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.

Please Note: Entrance is exclusively by pre purchased tickets priced at Adults - £10 each for 16 and under £6 each. (Minimum age 8 years old).

The dates for these events is Saturday 22nd  June & Saturday 6th July 2024. Arrive time 12.45pm for a 1pm start. The event will finish around 3pm
 
For tickets please purchase them using Ticket Tailor on the Sun Live page of the website. 

Sun Live Booking Click Here

Images credit: Phil Reed

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

Saturday,
6th July
2024
Public Sun Live
Clanfield Observatory - start time 1:00pm

More details...
Friday,
12th July
2024
Astronomy in the Ancient World
A talk by Dr Mike Leggett
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 8:00pm

More details...
Friday,
13th September
2024
The Astronomy of Stonehenge
A talk by Simon Banton
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 8:00pm

More details...
Saturday,
14th September
2024
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon & Saturn
- start time 7:30pm

More details...
Sunday,
15th September
2024
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon & Saturn
- start time 7:30pm

More details...
Saturday,
12th October
2024
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon, Saturn & Jupiter
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Sunday,
13th October
2024
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon, Saturn & Jupiter
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Saturday,
9th November
2024
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Saturn, Jupiter & Moon
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Sunday,
10th November
2024
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Saturn, Jupiter & Moon
- start time 7:15pm

More details...

Astronomical Events for May 2024

Moon

Third Quarter
1 May
New Moon
8 May
First Quarter
15 May

Full Moon
23 May

 

Third Quarter
30 May

4 May – morning – The crescent Moon will be 3.3° east of Saturn.

5 May – 04:40 BST – The crescent Moon will be about 1.3° from Mars.

8 May – The Moon will be 1% lit and will appear low in the northwest after sunset.  Jupiter will be 4.1° from the Moon, and the Pleiades 2.8°.

10 May – A good time to view the crater Humboldt due to lunar libration.

14 May – 02:00 BST – The crescent Moon will be 2.3° north of M44 (the Beehive cluster).

31 May – morning – The Moon can be seen 3.2° southwest of Saturn.

Clair-obscur Effects

1 May – morning – The Cutlass reaches its peak at 04:30 BST, the Moon will be low above the southeast horizon.

15 May – 16:00 BST – the Lunar X and V should be visible in the daylight.

15/16 May – midnight – The Face of Albategnius will be visible.

16 May – 01:40 BST – Find the crater Ptolemaeus and you might be able to see the head and neck of Nessie.

16 May – 21:30 BST – The Eyes of Clavius will be visible.

17 May – 02:35 BST – Plato’s Hook will be visible in the crater Plato.

Planets

9 May – morning – It may be possible to see Mercury, Mars and Saturn with the naked eye, Venus may be too close to the Sun to be visible.  The planets will be low above the horizon as sunrise approaches.

Occultations

24 May – morning – the Moon will occult M4, a globular cluster.  A little later the Moon will appear 33 arcminutes south of Antares.

Meteor Showers

6 May – 22:00 BST – Peak of the Eta Aquariid meteor shower with a ZHR of 40 meteors per hour.  The best time to view the meteor shower is from 02:00 BST until dawn.

Binocular Objects

M106 – a galaxy which can be found by locating mag. +5.3 3 Canum Venaticorum, about 1.5° south of this star is a faint flow which comes from the nucleus of M106.  Use averted vision to get a better view.

M51 (the Whirlpool Galaxy) – find Mizar and imagine a line between the star and Alkaid, this line makes the upright of the letter ‘L’, M51 lies at the ‘toe’ of this ‘L’, 3.5° from Alkaid.

Deep Sky Objects

M13 – globular cluster located in Hercules, this cluster will be at its highest point in the sky at about 02:00 BST, so a good time to view it.  You can see it using binoculars, and a 3” telescope at 20x power will show it as a mottled ball but increase the power from 20x and you may see some resolved stars at the cluster’s periphery.  The cluster can be found on the western side of the ‘Keystone’ asterism, lying about 2.5° south-southwest of mag. +3.5 eta (η) Herculis.

M92 (NGC 6341) – a globular cluster containing about 330,000 stars.  It can be seen using binoculars, and a 4” telescope will start to resolve stars on the cluster’s periphery.  A 10-12” telescope will resolve it to the core.  The cluster can be found 6° north of mag. +3.2 pi (π) Herculis, the star that marks the north-eastern corner of the Keystone.

NGC 6210 (the Turtle Nebula) – this nebula can be found about 8° south of zeta Herculis, Kornephoros (beta (β) Her) will be 4° south-west.  At 04:00 BST it will be at an altitude of around 60°.  An 3-4” telescope will reveal the nebula’s glow, to see more a telescope 20” and above is required.

M104 (the Sombrero galaxy) – a side-on peculiar galaxy.  To locate it, find Zeta (ζ) Corvi and extend the line through Algorab (Delta (δ) Corvi for roughly the same distance, and the galaxy can be found in this area.  A 150mm scope will show a 6 x 2-arcminute glow with a dark dust lane.  A larger scope will reveal a better contrast and apparent size.

NGC 4027 – this is a face-on galaxy which can be found by extending a line from Algorab through Gienah (Gamma (γ) Corvi) for the same distance again.  NGC 4027 will be 4° south of the point you arrive at.  A 150mm scope will reveal a circular patch of light about 2 arcminutes across, but larger instruments will reveal a mottled core and an irregular outline.

NGC 4038 and 4039 (the Antennae Galaxies) – these are an interacting pair of galaxies which can be found 0.7° northeast of NGC 4027.  A 150mm scope will show the two galaxies as a large, single bright spot, but larger scopes will reveal a kidney shape with the two distinct lobes, with NGC 4038 being the northern lobe.

NGC 3887 – this is a barred spiral galaxy located 2.1° west and 0.2° north of NGC 4038 and 4039.  A 150mm scope will show a 3 x 2 arcminute elliptical glow, whereas a 250mm scope will reveal the galaxy’s shape.

Virgo Cluster – this is a region of about 2000 galaxies which can be found between Virgo and Leo.  You should be able to see the cluster with a 4” telescope, but the best views are with telescopes 6” and above.

Miscellaneous

21 May – Start looking out for noctilucent clouds.

Moon Image Credit: Steve Broadbent
Mars Image Credit: NASA
M13 Image Credit: Mount Lemmon SkyCenter
M104 Image Credit: Hubble Space Telescope

Hampshire Sky

Hampshire Astronomical Group Online Magazine

The May 2024 edition of the Hampshire Sky has now been uploaded to our website.

To find the latest edition of the Hampshire Sky click here

If you have any images or articles you wish to have included in future issues please send them to the editor Gill England @ gill.england@hantsastro.org.uk or Steve Knight steve.knight@hantsastro.org.uk 

Images or articles need to be submitted by 1st November 2024 to make the December 2024 Issue. 

 

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

Saturday,
7th December
2024
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon, Saturn & Jupiter
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Sunday,
8th December
2024
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon, Saturn & Jupiter
- start time 7:15pm

More details...