Hampshire Astronomical Group

Established 1960, Online since 1998

Important Announcement

All Events at the Clanfield Observatory have been Cancelled

Important Notice

Due to the Announcement from our Prime Minister Boris Johnson about the CoronaVirus Outbreak all events at the Clanfield Observatory have been Cancelled until further notice. 

Please note: that our Lectures at the Clanfield Memorial Hall on the 2nd Friday in a month have also been cancelled until further notice.

We will keep you updated via the website to any changes.

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...

4th April
Public Open Evening -- This Evening has now been Cancelled Sold Out!
- start time 8:30pm

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5th April
Public Open Evening -- This Evening has now been Cancelled 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 - CANCELLED - start time 7:45pm

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Astronomical Events for April 2020


5 April – 19:08 BST – The Moon is at perigee when it will be at its closest point to Earth.

8 April – 03:35 BST – Full Moon which will appear larger than normal due to its closeness to perigee.

15 April – 04:30 BST – The waning crescent Moon forms a triangle with Jupiter and Saturn.

27 April – evening – The Moon will be 1.4° south of M35 in Gemini.

Moon – Clair-obscur Effects

2 April – The Eyes of Clavius can be seen in the early hours, look for the crater Clavius and inside are two crater rims which form this clair-obscur effect.


1 April – morning – Mars will be 1° south of Saturn.

3 April – evening – Venus crosses the Pleiades.

4 April – morning – Jupiter will be 45 arcminutes from Pluto creating a challenging target for astrophotographers.

8 April – 05:30 BST – Look for Ganymede’s shadow which will appear on Jupiter’s central meridian.

9 April – 09:30 BST – Ganymede’s shadow will be on Jupiter’s central meridian.

16 April – 05:00 BST – Mars will be 2.9° north of the Moon.

25 April – Venus will be at 30% phase and can be seen in the west after sunset.

26 April – evening – Venus will be 6.5° from the Moon making this a great photo opportunity.


13 April – The Moon occults the stars in M8 (The Lagoon Nebula), clearing the nebula at 03:30 BST.

Meteor Showers

5 April – Peak of the Kappa Serpentids which has a ZHR of 4 meteors an hour, making this a weak meteor shower.

17 April – Peak of the Alpha Virginids meteor shower which has a ZHR of 5 meteors an hour.  The meteors have a slow entry speed of 20 km/s.

22 April – Peak of the Lyrid meteor shower which has a peak ZHR of 18 meteors an hour, although this can rise to 90 meteors an hour.

Moon Image Credit: Steve Broadbent
Jupiter Image Credit: NASA
Meteor Image Credit: Stellarium

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

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

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

There are no events scheduled.

Future Learn Free Astronomy Courses

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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.

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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