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...

Saturday,
7th September
2019
Public Open Evening -- Adult Only Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:45pm

More details...
Sunday,
8th September
2019
Public Open Evening -- Adult Only Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:45pm

More details...

Astronomical Events for August 2019


Moon

1 August – 21:05 BST – With a flat west-northwest horizon, it may be possible to see a thin crescent Moon which will be 0.8% lit.

9 August – The Moon will be 1½° to the north of Jupiter.

11 August – The Moon will be 6° west of Saturn.

12 August – The Moon will be 6½° east of Saturn.  If you happen to be in Australia or New Zealand, you may see an occultation at 10:00 UT.

18 August – Good time to see the clair obscure effect known as the Twin Spires of Messier.  To see this effect find the craters known as Messier and Messier A using a telescope and look for two spire-like shadows.

31 August – A 2% lit Moon can be seen in the western horizon after sunset.

Planets

7 August – Minor planet 16 Psyche reaches opposition and can be found in Capricornus.

12 August – Pluto will be 0.8° north of the Moon.

13 August – Minor planet 15 Eunomia reaches opposition in Aquarius.

14 August – Venus reaches superior conjunction and begins its transition to becoming an evening object.

17 August – 04:24 BST – Mercury can be found 1.2° south of M44 (the Beehive Cluster).

17 August – Minor planet 39 Laetitia reaches opposition and can be found in Capricornus.

22 August – 20:15 BST – Ganymede’s shadow starts to cross Jupiter’s disc, and will be roughly on Jupiter’s central meridian at 21:30 BST.

26 and 27 August – evening – Find NGC 6235 in Ophiuchus and it will appear that Jupiter is crossing in front of it.

Meteor Showers

13 August – Peak of the annual Perseid meteor shower with a ZHR of 110 meteors an hour, although you are more likely to see about 47 meteors an hour.

Miscellaneous

Beginning of August – last chance to see noctilucent clouds

Moon Image & Noctilucent Clouds Image Credit: Steve Knight
Venus Image Credit: NASA

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 Memorial Hall on Sunday September 29th, 2019, Hosted by the Hampshire Astronomical Group.  

The day will be devoted to both asteroids and exoplanets and there will be talks on both subjects, including Anastasia Kokori discussing the ARIEL mission and amateur support for it

PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL ATTENDEES (OTHER THAN DESIGNATED HELPERS) MUST PRE-BOOK VIA THE BAA WEBSITE

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

Agenda

  • 9.30am Doors Open
  • 10am to 10.15am - Welcome by Richard Miles - Chairperson 
  • 10.15am to 10.45am - Presentation 1 - Richard Miles - Asteroid Section status, future projects, mtgs (WWE section mtg, Exoplanet workshop)
  • 10.45am to 11.15am - Presentation 2 - Peter Birtwhistle - Asteroids - subject TBC
  • 11.15am to 11.45am - Tea Break
  • 11.45am to 12.30pm - Presentation 3 - Professional astronomer - tba - Exoplanet mission - ARIEL - RM to arange
  • 12.30pm to 13.30pm - Lunch break
  • 13.30pm to 2pm - Presentation 4 - Roger Dymock - Exoplanet Division status, future projects
  • 2pm to 2.30pm - Presentation 5 - Peta Bosley - Astrobiology, intro to, courses
  • 2.30pm to 3pm - Presentation 6 - Steve Futcher - Exoplanet projects - mentoring University of Portsmouth students
  • 3pm to 3.30pm - Tea break
  • 3.30pm to 4pm - Presentation 7 - Tim Haymes - Asteroid occultations
  • 4pm to 4.30pm - Presentation 8 - Mark Salisbury - Exoplanet transit imaging
  • 4.30pm to 5pm - Presentation 9 - Martin Fowler - Exoplanet observations using the MicroObservatory Robotic Telescope Network
  • 5pm to 5.15pm - Question time with Richard Miles & Roger Dymock - Questions and comments from attendees
  • 5.15pm to 5.20pm - Closing comments by Richard Miles

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

Sunday,
29th September
2019
BAA Asteroid and Remote Planet Section meeting hosted by Hampshire Astronomical Group
Other / Misc. Meeting
- start time 9:00am
Saturday,
5th October
2019
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Sunday,
6th October
2019
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Friday,
11th October
2019
Wonders of the Universe: A TripAdvisor Top 10
A talk by Professor Brad Gibson
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Friday,
8th November
2019
The Consequences of Contact with ET
A talk by Martin Griffiths
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Saturday,
9th November
2019
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Sunday,
10th November
2019
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Saturday,
7th December
2019
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Sunday,
8th December
2019
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Friday,
13th December
2019
X-Ray Binaries
A talk by Dr Nick Higginbottom
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Friday,
10th January
2020
ExoMars Rover Mission
A talk by John Chinner & Yuri
Clanfield Observatory - start time 7:45pm

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Friday,
14th February
2020
Rebel Star: The Sun's Greatest Mysteries
A talk by Colin Stuart
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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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. 

The South Downs Planetarium recently welcomed it 250,000th visitor since the planetarium opened in 2001. This was a significant milestone in the Charity's aim of bringing the wonders and glory of the universe and the night sky to the general public.

Members of the public are welcome to visit the Planetarium at the show times listed on this website.

Public Shows and Dates   

SPECIAL NOTICE:
 
5th August to 10th September Inclusive

Please note that the Planetarium will be closed from 5th August to 10th September as the Planetarium will be undergoing some major internal refurbishment during this period.

There will be some staff on site during this time and will able to answer any queries. During August a new autumn program will be posted on the website and bookings are able to be made. Please keep an eye on the website for details.

We look forward to welcoming all our visitors to enjoy our new facilities from the 11th September. 

Friday 13th September - 7.30pm - Shine on Harvest Moon
 
Sunday 15th September - 3.30pm - Summertime Stars, Moon and Planets
 
Friday 20th September - 7.30pm - Our Galaxy The Milky Way
 
Saturday 21st September - 1pm - How to Choose & Use a Telescope
 
Sunday 22nd September - 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 

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

Friday,
13th March
2020
The Antikythera Mechanism
A talk by John Lancashire
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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Friday,
8th May
2020
TBA
A talk by Nick James
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Friday,
12th June
2020
TBA: HOYS-CAPS / Star Formation
A talk by Dr Dirk Froebrich
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

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