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...

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

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1st March
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

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

More details...

Astronomical Events for February 2020


2 February – 19:00 UT – The Moon will be 4° from Vesta, the asteroid is west of the Moon.

4 February – morning – The Moon will be 3.7° from Aldebaran.

6 February – morning – The Moon will be 2° south of M35.

9 February – evening – The Moon will be close to Regulus.  The Full Moon is the first of this year’s ‘supermoon’.

18 February – The Moon is 3.2° from Mars.

19 February – 07:00 UT – The Moon will be 6.5° west of Jupiter.

27 February – The Moon will be 6.2° from Venus.

28 February – The Moon will be 12.3° southeast of Venus.

Moon – Clair-obscur Effects

1 February – 19:00 UT – The Face in Albategnius which can be seen on the floor of the crater.

2 February – 20:40 UT – Eyes of Clavius, this occurs when the rims of Clavius C and D become illuminated.

2 February – 21:50 UT – Plato’s Hook; look for a pointed shadow across the floor of the crater Plato, the shadow will appear curved.

4 February – 02:15 UT – The Jewelled Handle will be visible, look for this effect on the rim of the Jura mountains.

5 February – 17:40 UT – Cassini’s Moon Maiden which is visible at the southern end of Sinus Iridum.


1 February – 19:00 UT – Uranus is 7° west-north-west of the Moon.

8 February – Venus shows a 70%-lit phase.

10 February – Mercury reaches greatest eastern elongation and will be visible in the evening sky.

11 February – Neptune will be 2.3 arcminutes from Phi Aquarii.

26 February – 06:30 UT – The shadow of Jupiter’s moon Callisto transits the planet’s disc.  The transit will end at 09:38 UT.


21 February – Look for Comet C/2017 T2 PanSTARRS which can be found between Stock 2, the Muscleman Cluster, and NGC 743 in Cassiopeia.


6 February – 02:00 UT – Propus (Eta Geminorum) is occulted by the Moon, with the star reappearing at approximately 03:00 UT.

Moon Images Credit: Steve Knight & Steve Broadbent
Venus Image 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 - £6 each for 16 and under £4 each. (Minimum age 8 years old).

The date for this event is Saturday 6th June 2019. Arrive time 12.45pm 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

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 6th March -- 7.30pm -- Wintertime Stars Moon & Planets
Saturday 7th March -- 1pm -- How to Choose & Use a Telescope   Sold Out
Sunday 8th March -- 3.30pm -- Magnificent Moons of our Solar System
Friday 13th March -- 7.30pm -- The Northern Lights
Friday 27th March -- 7.30pm -- The Northern Lights
Sunday 29th March -- 3.30pm -- Springtime Stars Moon & Planets
Friday 3rd April -- 7.30pm -- Springtime Stars Moon & Planets
Sunday 5th April -- 3.30pm -- Seven Wonders of the Solar System
Tuesday 7th April -- 1.30pm -- All Aboard a Tour of the Planets
Tuesday 7th April -- 3.30pm -- Exoplanets, Distant Worlds Alien Life?
Wednesday 8th April -- The Easter Full Moon
Friday 10th April -- 3.30pm -- The Night Sky this Easter

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
West Sussex PO19 8RP

For Sat Nav Users:-- Enter PO19 8AE


Tel:01243 774400   Ticket Hotline: 07818 297292 

e-mail: sdownsplanet@btconnect.com


Images credit:- Southdowns Planetarium 

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

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

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5th April
Public Open Evening -- Adult Only Evening Sold Out!
- start time 8:30pm

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17th April
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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15th May
Great Comets and Great disappointments
A talk by Nick James
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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6th June
Sun Live at the Clanfield Observatory
- start time 1:00pm

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

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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 18th March 2020 - The Colour and the Shape: Understanding Galaxy Evolution Through Simple Observations of the Local Universe.

Wednesday 22nd April 2020 - The Human Body in Long Term Space Flight on the ISS - Talk by Paul Muckelt.

Wednesday 20th May 2020 - Plasma: Barriers for Space Exploration and Gifts for Human from the Universe - Talk by Dr Min Kwan Kim.

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...

There are no events scheduled.

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