. South Downs Planetarium: May Skies Around The World

South Downs Planetarium

May Skies Around The World

Public Shows for the family (aged 6+)

SDP Car Park

About This Show

Sunday 22nd May @ 3:30pm

Duration 60min Approx

During May in the Northern Hemisphere it now stays light late into the evening, while in the Southern Hemisphere, where it is autumn, the nights are getting longer. From everywhere the four planets, Saturn, Mars, Jupiter and Venus are all visible before dawn. From the Northern Hemisphere they are visible rather low down in the dawn twilight, whereas from equatorial and southern latitudes the four planets make a fine display, all in a line in the pre-dawn sky. From here, even Venus, the lowest of the four planets, rises three hours before the Sun.

Of the two giant planets, Jupiter is much the brighter of the two and considerably further east than Saturn. Jupiter makes spectacular viewing. Its four largest moons and its stripey cloud belts are visible even with a small telescope. Saturns ever changing phases are displayed as the Moon waxes and wanes from month to month. The Full Moon on 16th May is known as the Flower Moon. This Full Moon will also coincide with a total eclipse of the Moon, visible in its entirety from North America, but only the beginning will be seen from the UK. When the Moon is new early and late in May, the absence of moonlight will enable you to have a clear view of the fainter stars and constellation patterns. Wherever you are in the world, you will need to find a dark site away from city lights for the best experience.

Come to the Planetarium for a fascinating whistlestop tour of the night skies in both hemispheres without ever leaving your seat!

Directions & Map.

The South Downs Planetarium and Science Centre is located at the southern end of the Chichester High Schools campus.

There is no direct access off the Chichester Bypass. Vehicular access via Kingsham Road only.

Click here to download a printable copy.

Car Parking

Please note there are two free car parks available.

SDP Car Park

The South Downs Planetarium one of two car parks.

Note for Satnav users.

Satnav postcode use PO19 8EB

In what3words uk use

& the Google Maps option to get you to our gate.

Prices and Admission

Opening Times

Because we are a charity run by volunteers we are only open for the public shows from 45 minutes before the published show time. Therefore there is no facility to accomodate casual vistors.


The seats in the Dome are Aircraft seats set at an angle to provide the best possible view. These seats do not recline, they do however tilt forwards slightly to provide easy access to the rows behind when entering and leaving.

Important Information

Gift Aid

Please also consider making a donation under the Gift Aid scheme. It costs you nothing and gives us more. Download the Gift Aid form here