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South Downs Planetarium
& Science Center

Covid-19 - Temporary Closure of the South Downs Planetarium

The Trustees of the South Downs Planetarium are concerned about the health and safety of everyone during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Consequently, and following the latest advice from HM Government that everyone in the UK should avoid non-essential travel and contact with others, the Planetarium will temporarily close starting Tuesday, 17th March 2020 to help contain the spread of COVID-19. All private and public events and programming are being cancelled with immediate effect.

Schools and other groups who have booked visits will be informed individually and all those who have purchased tickets for a forthcoming public show will be refunded automatically. Please allow up to ten days for your card to be credited.

We shall continually evaluate the situation, taking into account guidance from the Government, NHS and Public Health England, and will reopen just as soon as it is safe to do so.

We do not at present have any known cases of COVID-19 connected to the Planetarium, but our greatest priority is to minimize the chances that infectious disease could spread among the visitors and volunteers at the Planetarium and in the wider community.

Please monitor our website at www.southdowns.org.uk for up-to-date information on the resumption of Planetarium operations.

Take care of yourselves, your communities and your information intake—make sure you’re following verified sources to help separate findings from feelings. As we all work to contain this outbreak, the Planetarium extends its special appreciation to those working in healthcare, medicine, research and other fields who are leading the frontline response.

The Trustees of the South Downs Planetarium

Tuesday, 17th March 2020

Online Activities

See what’s happening in the night sky

During our temporary closure, Subscribe our YouTube channel to find out what’s happening in the night sky’

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Space Exploration at the Planetarium

Explore the past present and future of the universe and the magic of the night sky in warmth & comfort, together with live expert commentary delivered by our professional astronomers

Prices & information

  • Admission: Adults £7:00. Children 6 to 16 years £5:00.
  • Not Suitable for children under 6 years of age.
  • Duration 70min Approx

Opening Times:

  • We are a charity run by volunteers and are only open for the public shows from 45 minutes before the published show time.

Group Visits

  • To book a group visit at any other time, please contact the Planetarium on 01243 774400

Plan your own event

As well as public and school shows we provide facilities for events such as birthday parties and private club events. See our 'Private Events' page for more details.

School Shows

As an educational charity we provide special shows for Schools at a special price. For further information visit our Schools page or call 01243 774400

Our presenters

A photograph of our presenter John Mason MBE

John Mason MBE

Applied Physicist

John has been actively involved in astronomy and space science for almost 50 years. Past President of the British Astronomical Association, a full member of the International Astronomical Union and is currently Education Officer and Principal Lecturer at the South Downs Planetarium in Chichester. He lectures extensively in the UK and overseas on a wide range of scientific topics with a reputation as a passionate communicator of science. He has led many expeditions overseas to observe the Northern Lights, total solar eclipses and meteor showers. He is a frequent broadcaster on radio and television.

A photograph of our presenter Graham Bryant.

Graham Bryant

President of the Hampshire Astronomical Group

Graham has been involved in astronomy for the past 50 years and is currently a Trustee of the South Downs Planetarium and also President of the Hampshire Astronomical Group. Graham has been a supporter of the Planetarium for many years and has become more deeply involved since retiring from the Health Service in 2012. He teaches the Astronomy for Beginner’s course at a nearby observatory of which he is also the President. Graham has for many years given talks to numerous outside organisations on astronomy and space flight. More recently, Graham has been an Aurora/Astronomy tour guide, leading a number of trips to Iceland and Norway.

A photograph of our presenter Meryl Goulbourne.

Meryl Goulbourne

Citizen Scientist

Meryl has discovered more than 70 Supernovas and other transient items. She actively participates in the LIGO and VIRGO experiment analysis as well as mapping the Bennu asteroid. Meryl also engages with ‘Outreach’ activities including Schools, Dark Sky events and observing evenings and is an active ‘Citizen Scientist' with the Zooniverse Project’. She is also an authority on Meteorites.


Although care has been taken in preparing the information contained in this document, the South Downs Planetarium and its Trustees do not and cannot guarantee the accuracy thereof.

Anyone using the information does so at their own risk and shall be deemed to indemnify South Downs Planetarium and its Trustees from any and all injury or damage arising from such use.

All pages are either copyrighted by South Downs Planetarium, or by their respective authors - whether a copyright line appears at the bottom or not.