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...

Sunday,
21st October
2018
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

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Friday,
9th November
2018
The Search for Life on Exoplanets
A talk by Dr Paul B Rimmer
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Friday,
16th November
2018
Public Open Evening - Moon Watch Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

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Saturday,
17th November
2018
Public Open Evening - Moon Watch Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

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Sunday,
18th November
2018
Public Open Evening - Moon Watch Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

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

Friday,
14th December
2018
How We'll Live on Mars
A talk by Colin Stuart
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Saturday,
15th December
2018
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

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Sunday,
16th December
2018
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

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Friday,
11th January
2019
The Cradle of the Sun - Did Our Solar System Form in a Star Cluster?
A talk by Dr Richard J Parker
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Saturday,
12th January
2019
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon, Mars and Orion
- start time 7:15pm

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Sunday,
13th January
2019
Public Open Evening Only 5 places left!
Moon, Mars and Orion
- start time 7:15pm

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Friday,
8th February
2019
The search for Planet Vulcan
A talk by Paul Fellows
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Saturday,
16th February
2019
Public Open Evening
Moon, Mars and Orion
- start time 7:15pm

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Sunday,
17th February
2019
Public Open Evening
Moon, Mars and Orion
- start time 7:15pm

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Friday,
15th March
2019
Public Open Evening - Spring Observing Session
Moon, Mars and Orion
- start time 7:15pm

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Saturday,
16th March
2019
Public Open Evening - Spring Observing Session
Moon, Mars and Orion
- start time 7:15pm

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

More details...

Astronomical Events for October 2018


Moon

4 Oct – early hours – The Moon will be approximately 3° from M44 (the Beehive Cluster) creating a good opportunity for astrophotography.

16 Oct – 19:00 BST – Peak of the clair-obscur effects – Lunar X and Lunar V.

24 Oct – Good time to look at the crater Einstein due to the Moon’s libration.

Planets

1 Oct – 22:00 BST – Uranus will be approximately 25° above the eastern horizon and at 02:20 BST it will be about 50° above the southern horizon. Look for the planet in the south-western quadrant of Aries.

11 Oct – 18:30 BST – Jupiter will appear to be 4° from the Moon, they can be seen low in the southwest horizon.

14 Oct – 19:00 BST – Saturn will be about 4.5° east of the Moon where they can be seen low in the south-southwest horizon.

16 Oct – Dwarf planet Eris is at opposition.

18 Oct – 19:00 BST – Mars and the Moon will be separated by 3°, the planet will be south-west of the Moon.

20 Oct – evening – Neptune can be seen 4° north of the Moon.

23/24 Oct – Uranus reaches opposition when it will be 1.75 billion miles from Earth. It will be possible to observe the planet from 20:00 BST to 5:00 BST and will be about 5-8° from the Moon.

26 Oct – Venus reaches inferior conjunction and becomes a morning object.

30 Oct – 3.5° separates Mercury and Jupiter, however it will be difficult to see the pair as Mercury will be close to the horizon.

Comets

12 Oct – Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner can be found 6° to the east of Sirius. It should be possible to find the comet using binoculars.

18/19 and 19/20 Oct – Comet 38P-Stephan-Oterma will be just over 1° south of Alhena (gamma Geminorum). At the start of October the comet will be 4° from Betelgeuse when it will be visible from 02:00 BST.  See page 56 of Astronomy Now (October 2018) for more details of the Comet’s path.

31 Oct – 23:30 UT – Look for comet 46P/Wirtanen which can be found in the south. You should be able to find it using binoculars, although a good southern horizon is required as it will be low.

Meteor Showers

8/9 Oct – midnight to 01:00 BST – Peak of the Draconid meteor shower with a ZHR of 10 meteors an hour. However, the presence of Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner may raise the ZHR to 15-20 meteors an hour.

10 Oct – Peak of the Southern Taurid meteor shower.

21 Oct – Peak of the Orionid meteor shower, but the Moon will spoil the view.

Misc

27 Oct – evening – Aldebaran will be 4° to the right of the Moon.

28 Oct – 02:00 BST – Daylight saving ends, clocks go back one hour to GMT (UT).

Moon Image Credit: Steve Knight
Jupiter & Saturn Image Credit: NASA
Comet Image Credit: Steve Futcher

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 14th November 2018 - It's about time - Talk by Professor Don Kurtz (University of Central Lancashire)

Wednesday 12th December 2018 - How we'll live on Mars - Talk by Colin Stuart (RAS)

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 21st October - 3.30pm - Voyage to Saturn, Lord of the Rings

Monday 22nd October - 3.30pm - One Small Step for Major Tim, A Giant Leap Towards Mars

Tuesday 23rd October - 1.30pm - All Aboard - A Tour of the Planets

Tuesday 23rd October - 3.30pm - Seven Wonders of the Solar System

Wednesday 24th October - 3.30pm - Distant Worlds - Alien Life

Thursday 25th October - 1.30pm - Destination Mars, The Red Planet

Thursday 25th October - 3.30pm - All Aboard - A Tour of the Planets

Friday 26th October - 3.30pm - Autumn Stars, Moon and Planets

Sunday 28th October - 3.30pm - The Northern Lights

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 

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

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

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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: - Available now for details to book yourself onto this course click here

Monitoring the Oceans from Space: - Date to be announced for details to book yourself onto this course click here

Earth Observation from Space: the Optical View: - Date to be announced for details to book yourself onto this course click here