Hampshire Astronomical Group

Established 1960, Online since 1998

Observatory Accessibility

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Hampshire Astronomical Group welcome you!

Formed in Portsmouth in 1960 the ‘Hampshire Astronomical Group’ has grown into one of the finest 'amateur astronomical groups' in the UK.

Our extensively equipped Observatory is situated within the South Downs National Park dark skies reserve on the border of Clanfield and Horndean villages in Hampshire.

The Group hold regular Open Evenings at the Observatory from autumn through to spring; giving visitors the opportunity to view the night sky through our very large telescopes or, if cloudy, a tour of the facilities followed by a lecture on an astronomical topic in our modern (heated) clubroom facility.

Furthermore we hold Solar (sun) observing events where visitors can observe our nearest star the 'sun' viewed through our specialist solar viewing equipment  during  daylight hours in the summer months.

We also host group visits and run astronomical courses for the public at the observatory.

We have a long-established association with the University of Portsmouth where their undergraduates and students can avail themselves of our facilities and knowledge base for furthering their studies.

There is a full programme of monthly public lectures, with eminent guest speakers, held at the Clanfield Memorial Hall where non members are more than welcome to attend.

Access and Information to all our activities (which are supported voluntarily by our very active and enthusiastic membership) are shown on this website.  So please feel free to browse, it is constantly up-dated; so why not bookmark us in your browser and visit regularly.

Clear Nights and Dark Skies.

Richard Judd FRAS
President:  Hampshire Astronomical Group - Clanfield Observatory

What's on in the next month...

Saturday,
26th May
2018
Public Sun Live Day
- start time 1:00pm

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Friday,
8th June
2018
Blexit: Exiting the Universe via black hole
A talk by Dr Poshak Gandhi
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Astronomical Events for May 2018

Moon

5 May – 01:30 BST – The Moon and Saturn will appear separated by 2.75°.  Look for them as they rise above the southeast horizon.

6 May – 08:00 BST – The Moon and Mars will separated by approximately 2°.

12/13 May – Good time to view and image the lunar crater Byrgius.  On the morning of 13 May, the crater will be lying on the terminator.

17 May – The Moon and Venus will be approximately 5.5° apart, with Venus north of the Moon.  Look for them low in the west-northwest about 30 minutes after sunset.

27 May – 22:00 BST – 3.3° separates the Moon and Jupiter.

Planets

2 May – Jupiter’s moon Io transits the planet’s disc, and is centrally placed at 21:45 BST.  The dark dot in front of Io is its shadow.

6 May – 22:00 BST – Ganymede transits Jupiter.

8 May – 04:00 BST – Io transits Jupiter again, and the moon will almost be on top of its shadow.

9 May – Jupiter reaches opposition.

9 May – 22:25 BST – Io transits Jupiter.

13 May – 01:30 BST – Europa transits Jupiter with its shadow following it.

14 May – 01:30 BST – Ganymede transits Jupiter; and Callisto can be found just north of the planet.

15 May – 02:00 BST – Saturn appears about 1.5° above M22 (Sagittarius).  Using binoculars or a small telescope look for these objects low in the southeast horizon.

16 May – 00:06 BST – Another transit of Io across Jupiter, this time the moon’s shadow will be following it.

20 and 21 May – evening – 1° separates Venus from M35 in Gemini, although twilight will make them difficult to see.

Meteor Showers

5 May – Peak of the Eta Aquarid meteor shower with a ZHR of 15-20 meteors an hour, however conditions will be unfavourable because of the Moon.

Occultations

23 May – 02:00 BST – Jupiter occults TYC 6168-686-1, a mag. +12.3 star, although this will be a challenge to see and photograph.

Comets

10 and 11 May – evening – Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner passes close to M27 (the Dumbbell nebula).

Misc

11 May – Due to the Moon rising in the morning, this is a good opportunity to view and image objects such as M57 (the Ring Nebula in Lyra) and M13 (the Great Globular in Hercules).

21 May – Start looking for noctilucent clouds (NLC), although the full Moon at the end of the month will spoil the visibility of early NLC displays.

Moon Image Credit: Steve Knight
Jupiter Image Credit: NASA
Saturn Image Crdeit: NASA

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

Friday,
13th July
2018
Telescope choices based on optical and practical considerations
A talk by John D Timmins FRAS
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Saturday,
22nd September
2018
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:45pm

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Sunday,
23rd September
2018
Public Open Evening Only 5 places left!
- start time 7:45pm

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Friday,
12th October
2018
Making a Solar System: A Recipe for Worlds
A talk by Dr Ashley King
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Saturday,
20th October
2018
Public Open Evening
- start time 7:15pm

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

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Friday,
9th November
2018
Title TBC
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
- start time 7:15pm

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

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

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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 13th June 2018 - Space Weather: The Science behind the Forecasts - Talk by Dr. Olugbenga Ogunmodimu (Manchester Metropolitan University)

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 27th May - 3.30pm - Springtime Stars, Moon and Planets.

Monday 28th May - 3.30pm - All Aboard - A Tour of the Planets

Wednesday 30th May - 3.30pm - Hubble's View of the Universe. FULL DOME SHOW

Friday 1st June - 3.30pm - Our Incredible Sun

Sunday 3rd June - 3.30pm - Distant Worlds: Alien Life

Friday 8th June - 7.30pm - One Small Step for Major Tim, A Giant Leap Towards Mars

Friday 15th June - 7.30pm - Springtime Stars and Galaxies

Sunday 17th June - 3.30pm - Our Incredible Sun

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 after the next 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
- start time 7:15pm

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Sunday,
16th December
2018
Public Open Evening
- 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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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