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...

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

More details...
Saturday,
9th November
2019
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Sunday,
10th November
2019
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

More details...

Astronomical Events for October 2019


Moon

3 October – evening – The Moon will be about 1.5° northwest of Jupiter.

3 October – Find the western rim of the crater Alexander and look for the clair obscure effect called Alexander’s Beaded Rim.

8 October – Clair obscure effect known as the Jewelled Handle can be seen when the sunlight catches the mountain peaks of Montes Jura on the border of Sinus Iridum.

Planets

1 October – 22:30 BST – 1° separates Saturn and the Moon.

13 October – Minor planet 29 Amphitrite reaches opposition and can be found in Pisces.  The planet can be seen all month as it moves through Pisces.

24 October – 15:43-17:22 BST – The shadows of Jupiter’s moons Io and Europa crosses the planet’s disc.  Jupiter can be found due south at 16:26 BST at an altitude of 14° from latitude 53° north.

25 October – Minor planet 9 Metis (mag. +8.6) reaches opposition and can be found in Cetus.

28 October – 19:00 onwards – Uranus reaches opposition and can be located in Aries.  To find the planet locate the stars Alrescha in Pisces and Hamal in Aries, Uranus will be approximately mid-way between the two.

29 October – 10-15 mins after sunset – After making sure the sun has set properly, look low in the southwest and you should see Venus approximately 2.8° below the Moon.

30 October – 10-15 mins after sunset – Find Venus in the southwest approximately 2.6° below the planet is Mercury, however the two planets will only be visible for a short period of time.  Ensure the sun has set before trying to find the two planets.

31 October – 14:10 UT – Jupiter will be approximately 9 arcminutes south the Moon’s southern limb.

Meteor Showers

4 October – Peak of the Delta Aurigids meteor shower which has a ZHR of 3 meteors an hour.

9 October – Peak of the Draconid meteor shower which has a ZHR of 20 meteors an hour.

10 October – Peak of the Southern Taurids with a ZHR of just 5 meteors an hour.

21 October – Peak of the Orionid meteor shower with a ZHR of 20 meteors an hour.

Comets

Early October – Comet 2018 W2 (Africano) is rising in the east and from 20:00 BST it will be 20° above the east-south-eastern horizon.  7 days later it will be rising in the constellation of Aquarius and will south of mag. +5.6 Aquarii.

October – Comet 2018 N2 (ASASSN) can be located in the east and will be passing through Triangulum in early October, and will be about 4° north of M33 in the second week of October.  It will be 3° south of M33 at the end of the month.

27/28 and 29/30 October – Comet 2017/T2 (PanSTARRS) will be approximately 1° east of Messier 36 in Auriga.

Miscellaneous

27 October – Daylight saving ends and the clocks go back one hour.

Moon Image Credit: Steve Broadbent
Jupiter & Venus Image Credit: NASA
Meteor Shower Image Credit: Stellarium

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 18th October -- 7.30pm -- The Northern Lights
 
Sunday 20th October -- 3.30pm -- Autumn Stars, Moon & Planets
 
Friday 25th October -- 7.30pm -- Autumn Stars & Galaxies
 
Sunday 27th October -- 3.30pm -- The Northern Lights
 
Monday 28th October -- 3.30pm -- All Aboard a Tour of the Planets
 
Tuesday 29th October -- 11.30am -- The Moon Landing Experience
 
Tuesday 29th October -- 3.30pm -- Distant Worlds Alien Life
 
Wednesday 30th October -- 3.30pm -- The Moon Landing Experience
 
Thursday 31st October -- 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,
7th December
2019
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

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

More details...
Friday,
13th December
2019
X-ray binaries, Cataclysmic variables and other Stellar Cannibals
A talk by Dr Nick Higginbottom
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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

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

More details...
Friday,
10th January
2020
ExoMars Rover Mission
A talk by John Chinner & Yuri
Clanfield Observatory - 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
- 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
- start time 7:15pm

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Sunday,
1st March
2020
Public Open Evening
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
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
TBA
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

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