Hampshire Astronomical Group

Established 1960, Online since 1998

Important Announcement

All Events at the Clanfield Observatory have been Suspended


Due to the recent lockdown restrictions introduced as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic, all major activities both at the observatory and the monthly Clanfield Memorial Hall meetings have been suspended.

We are aware that as of early July 2020, there were some easing of restrictions, but for the time being, Group activities that involve crowds of people at both the observatory and the Memorial Hall, will remain suspended. 

These measures are being closely monitored and we shall introduce activities when we are in a position to ensure the safety of both members of the Group and members of the public.

We will of course keep you updated via this website and on our Facebook pages.

5 July 2020

Observatory Accessibility


More details...

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. Our observatory is situated on the edge of beautiful South Downs National Park.

Like so many other organisations over the past three months, we too have had to close the observatory facilities and cease all activities due to the Coronovirus Pandemic. At the moment we have cautiously opened the observatory for members to use, but we are maintaining the social distancing guidance very closely.

Unfortunately we are not yet in a position to be able to open the observatory for visits by members of the public, although we are keeping this under constant review.

If you wish to visit the observatory we are expecting to be able to make some evenings available after the New Year; please keep an eye on our website for details. Priority will be given to those whose evening had to be cancelled due to the Lockdown announced in March 2020.

At some point we also hope to start the monthly public talks at the Clanfield Memorial Hall. Once again, please keep an eye on the website or our Facebook page, for such announcements.

In the meantime, thank you for visiting our website and we hope to see you in person in the not too distant future.

Graham Bryant FRAS
President:  Hampshire Astronomical Group

What's on in the next month...

There are no events scheduled.

Astronomy Course Full

In view of the current restrictions regarding Covid-19 the Astronomy Course is closed to new enrolments. 

If you wish to be placed on the list for 2021/22 please make contact with Graham Bryant

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

There are no events scheduled.

Astronomical Events for July 2020


5 July – 05:44 BST – The Full Moon will be close to Jupiter, with the planet above the Moon.

6 July – The Moon will be close to two planets, Saturn will be above the Moon, and Jupiter is to the right.

12 July – morning – The Moon will be 3° from Mars.

16 July – morning – The Moon will be below the Pleiades, with Venus to the left.

17 July – 03:00 BST – Looking low in the east-northeast, the crescent Moon can be seen 2.8° from Venus, with Aldebaran close by.

19 July – 04:15 BST – The Moon will be about 3° north of Mercury.


1 July – evening – Jupiter can be seen 42 arcseconds north of Pluto, and Jupiter will appear 5.8 million times brighter.

3 July – morning – Venus will appear as a crescent when observed through a telescope.

8 July – 03:00 BST (from central UK) – As Venus rises above the east-northeast horizon it will pass the Hyades.  The planet is at 25% phase.

9 July – Transit of Io across Jupiter’s disc.  Io and its shadow can be seen close together centrally on Jupiter at 02:15 BST.

10 July – 02:30 BST – Europa and its shadow will appear centrally on Jupiter’s disc.

11 July – morning – Venus will be 1° from Aldebaran.

13 July – Minor planet 2 Pallas reaches opposition and can be found in Vulpecula.

14 July – Jupiter reaches opposition where it will appear at its biggest from Earth.

20 July – Saturn reaches opposition, and an opportunity to observe the Seeliger effect when the rings appear brighter.

25/26 July – 22:55-03:00 BST – Transit of Jupiter’s moon Callisto.  The moon will appear centrally on Jupiter’s disc at 00:45 BST.  Callisto’s shadow can be seen crossing Jupiter from 01:40 BST.

Meteor Showers

30 July – Peak of the Southern Delta-Aquariid meteor shower which has a ZHR of 18 meteors an hour.


4 July – 12:34 BST – Earth reaches aphelion which is when the planet is at its greatest distance from the Sun.

All month – Look out for Noctilucent Clouds (NLCs) which usually appear low above the northwest horizon 90-120 minutes after sunset, or low above the northeast horizon 90-120 minutes before sunrise.

Moon Image Credit: Steve Broadbent
Jupiter Image Credit: NASA
Saturn Image Credit: NASA

Noctilucent Clouds Credit: Steve Knight

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