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...

12th April
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...
13th April
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Adults Only Observing Evening - Arrive 8.45pm - Starts 9pm - Finish 11pm
- start time 8:45pm

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

More details...

Astronomical Events for March 2019


1 March – 06:00 UT – The Moon, Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter will appear in a line.

2 March – morning – The Moon will be 6.8° west of Venus.

3 March – morning – The Moon will be 4.7° east of Venus.

7 March – after sunset – Look for a 1%-lit Moon which will be in the west, it will only be visible for 40 minutes.

11 March – evening – The Moon will be 6° south of Mars.

13 March – 16:45 UT – The Lunar X and V, both clair obscure effects, reach peak visibility.

17 March – Try and see the clair obscure effect, Cassini’s Moon Maiden, which will be visible up to midnight.  Find Promontorium Heraclides at the southern extreme of Sinus Iridum, and view it inverted with south up.

21 March – 01:45 UT – 01:43 UT – Third and final perigee full Moon, or supermoon, of this year.

27 March – 01:30 UT – The Moon will appear 1.1° north of Jupiter.

29 March – morning – The Moon will be 53 arcminutes from Saturn.


2 March – 06:00 UT – Dwarf planet Pluto will be 1.4° north of the Moon.

10 March – All four Galilean moons can be seen to the east of Jupiter.  This can be seen again on the 27 March.

11 March – 04:30 UT – Ganymede and Io will be close to Jupiter’s northeast limb.

11 March – 19:00 UT – Uranus is 7° west of the Moon.

18 March – 04:00 UT – The shadow of Jupiter’s moon starts to cross the planet’s disc.  Ganymede and Europa can be seen near Jupiter’s east limb and Io on the west limb.

27 March – 02:30 UT – Eclipse of Io and Europa by Jupiter’s shadow.

29 March – 02:30 UT – Europa and Ganymede will appear close to the western limb of Jupiter.

29 March – 05:00 UT – Dwarf planet Pluto will be 3° east of the Moon.

31 March – evening – Mars will be 3.1° south of the Pleiades.


Mid-March – Comet 2018 Y1 (Iwamoto) can be found in Perseus.

Mid-March – Comet 46P/Wirtanen will be Leo Minor.


4 March – With no moon this is a good opportunity to look for deep sky objects.

5 March – Good time to try and see the zodiacal light.  Look for a faint conical glow in the west about 90 minutes after sunset, if the glow if visible there will be a 90 minute window in which to see it.

20 March – 21:58 UT – Spring, or vernal, equinox when the centre of the Sun’s disc crosses the celestial equator.

31 March – British summer time begins.

Moon Image Credit: Steve Knight
Jupiter 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 - £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  


Apollo 11 Mission Patch Image Credit: NASA

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

10th May
Multimessenger Astronomy
A talk by Dr Stephen Webb
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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

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22nd June
Sun Live Event
Clanfield Observatory - start time 12:45pm

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

More details...
13th July
The Apollo 50th Anniversary Celebration Open Evenings Sold Out!
To celebrate the Apollo 11 Moon Landing in July 1969
- start time 7:45pm

More details...
14th July
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...

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.


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

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 - Talk by Hugh Lewis (University of Southampton)

Monday 29th April 2019 - The Tactile Universe: Engaging the vision impaired community with accessible astrophysics research - Talk by Dr Nicolas Bonne (University of Portsmouth)

Wednesday 12th June 2019 - Applying Missile Defence Technology to Solve the Near Earth Asteroid Problem - Talk by Alexander Godfrey (Lockheed Martin)

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   

Sunday 24th March - 3.30pm - Springtime Stars Moon & Planets

Monday 8th April - 3.30pm - Seven Wonders of the Solar System

Tuesday 9th April - 3.30pm - The Northern Lights

Wednesday 10th April - 3.30pm - All aboard a Tour of the Planets

Friday 12th April - 3.30pm - Springtime Stars Moon & Planets

Sunday 14th April - 3.30pm - Distant Worlds: Alien Life

Monday 15th April - 3.30pm - Destination Mars, the Red Planet

Tuesday 16th April - 3.30pm - Magnificent Moons of our Solar System

Wednesday 17th April - 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
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 after the next 6 months...

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

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

More details...
10th January
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