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Website Updated Feb 19, 2020
Sky Events for March and April added.

Check the Stuff for Sale page! LOTS of “goodies”


………..Screen shot 2016-04-22 at 6.57.06 PMOur FB page has updates on weather-sensitive events

Naked Eye/Binocular Astronomy Events

Winter 2019/2020

Only Venus in the Evening Sky to View -But check out the Morning Sky!

The brightest planet in the sky right now is Venus and it is high in the SW sky in 2020. Saturn has joined the group of morning planets which includes Jupiter and Mars in February. A trio of bright planets in the dawn sky!

Venus is joined by Mercury in late January and mid-February but it stays well away from any encounters with the bright Evening Star which continues to shine at magn. -4. Venus remains a bright beacon in the SW well past winter 2020 and into late spring. See the Charts/Forms page for finder charts for all these objects.

Look to the dawn sky for planet action (Mars, Jupiter, Saturn) In winter and spring skies you can watch Mars slip past first Jupiter then Saturn until it finally appears in evening sky at its opposition in Oct 2020. It will be a special year for Mars watching with Mars at its brightest and closest since 2018. (Fingers crossed for no planet-wide dust storms like last time!) Though still only magnitude 1.2, Mars starts out the year being occulted by the Moon Feb 18, which will occur shortly after sunrise locally. Look for Mars very close to the Moon after the pair rises about 4 am. From then on to sunrise Mars gets closer and closer and passes behind the Moon about 7:22 am Feb 18 and reappears about 8:45 am with the Sun in the sky. Diagram below shows Mars a sliver away from the bright limb of the Moon at 6 am or so. See Sky Sights for more on Mars Occultation.

Planets Feb 18 am



Winter 2020 Astronomy Events


COMPLETE list of ASTRONOMY EVENTS FOR 2020 available here: ASTRONOMY 2020



Glossary of terms used below can be found here: GLOSSARY

Note: Time column is UT, subtract 5 hours for local EST, 4 hours during DST (after March 10).
See SKY SIGHTS or COMING EVENTS for more details about specific events.

Feb/Mar/Apr 2020

February 2020
Date GMT Event
02 Sun 01:42 FQ Moon rises locally at 11:27 am EST
04 Tue 06:53 Aldebaran 3.1°S of Moon
07 Fri 12:58 Pollux 5.3°N of Moon
08 Sat 10:16 Beehive 1.0°S of Moon
09 Sun 07:33 FM rises locally at 6:17 pm EST (“Supermoon”)
09 21:15 Regulus 3.8°S of Moon
10 Mon 14:00 Mercury at Greatest Elong: 18.2°E
10 20:31 Moon at Perigee: 360 464 km
12 Wed 05:00 Mercury at Perihelion
15 Sat 22:17 LQ Moon rises locally at 12:42 am EST
18 Tue 13:18 Mars 0.8°S of Moon: Occ’n. (dawn sunrise locally) See SKY SIGHTS
19 Wed 19:36 Jupiter 0.9°N of Moon: Occn. (Antarctica)
20 Thu 13:47 Saturn 1.7°N of Moon
23 Sun 15:32 NM rises locally at 7:37 am EST
26 Wed 02:00 Mercury at Inferior Conjunction
26 11:35 Moon at Apogee: 406 277 km
28 Fri Crescent Moon near Uranus and Venus in west. See SKY SIGHTS
Note: Feb 2020 is a Leap Year. Leap Day is Sat Feb 29!

March 2020 [Moonrise times are for Owen Sound ON 44.6°N 80.9°W]
Date GMT Event
02 07:59 Pollux 4.9°N of Moon
03 06:25 Beehive 1.3°S of Moon
03 14:36 Venus 0.3°S of Pleiades
04 18:45 Regulus 3.9°S of Moon
07 18:08 Moon at Perigee: 356 909 km
08 02:35 FM rises locally at 7:35 pm EDT
14 22:56 LQ Moon rises locally at 2:49 am EDT
14 23:04 Jupiter 2.0°N of Moon
15 09:26 Saturn 2.5°N of Moon
16 04:33 Mars 2.0°N of Moon
20 19:01 Moon at Apogee: 406 463 km
21 19:00 Dark of Moon Viewing Fox Obs. For details contact stargazerjohn@rogers.com
22 06:00 Lyrid Meteors, 20/h, peak 1 am EDT, New Moon
23 02:26 NM rises locally at 6:39 am EDT
26 03:34 Aldebaran 3.8°S of Moon
26 10:00 Uranus in Conjunction with Sun (not vis.)
28 Sat 19:00 Coffin Ridge Viewing Night for registered guests ($20). Contact stargazerjohn@rogers.com or info@coffinridge.ca
29 14:19 Pollux 4.7°N of Moon
30 13:18 Beehive 1.6°S of Moon
30 20:38 FQ Moon rises locally at 12:05 pm EDT

April 2020
Date GMT Event
01 Wed 19:00 BAS meets Bailey Hall OSDSS 7 pm: Astronomy Trivia Night!
01 Wed 10:21 FQ Moon rises locally at 12:07 pm EDT
02 Thu 07:59 Pollux 4.9°N of Moon
03 Fri 06:25 Beehive 1.3°S of Moon
03 Fri 14:36 Venus 0.3°S of Pleiades
04 Sat 18:45 Regulus 3.9°S of Moon
07 Tue 18:08 Moon at Perigee: 356 909 km
08 Wed 02:35 FM rises locally at 7:35 pm EDT
14 Tue 22:56 LQ Moon rises locally at 2:49 am EDT
14 Tue 23:04 Jupiter 2.0°N of Moon
15 Wed 09:26 Saturn 2.5°N of Moon
16 Thu 04:33 Mars 2.0°N of Moon
20 Tue 19:01 Moon at Apogee: 406 463 km
22 Wed 06:00 Lyrid Meteor Shower (20/h, peak 1 am EDT, New Moon!)
23 Thu 02:26 NM rises locally at 6:39 am EDT
25 Sat 19:00 Dark of Moon Viewing Fox Obs. For details contact stargazerjohn@rogers.com
26 Sun 03:34 Aldebaran 3.8°S of Moon
26 Sun 10:00 Uranus in Conjunction with Sun (not vis.)
29 Wed 14:19 Pollux 4.7°N of Moon
30 Thu 13:18 Beehive 1.6°S of Moon
30 Thu 20:38 FQ Moon rises locally at 12:05 pm EDT



From Our Astrophotographers:


Strange Dimming of Betelgeuse
The alpha star of Orion has dropped in brightness over a full magnitude taking it from 12th brightest to 29th or so in the list of bright stars. (see Brightest Stars) Images below by Frank W. and John H. compare the top two stars of the rectangle of Orion, Betelgeuse, normally around 0.5 and Bellatrix which is a steady 1.64. Estimates made on Jan 30, 2020 for Betelgeuse indicate it is about 1.66, now slightly fainter than Bellatrix. Details of the unprecedented dimming can be found on the S&T website here: Betelgeuse Dimming and from ESO here: New Images Betelgeuse

Pasted GraphicPasted Graphic 1

Image left is a crop of a wide angle shot of the “shoulders” of Orion showing Betelgeuse (left) and Bellatrix right with the little triangle at top being the “head” of Orion (brightest star there is Meissa). This shot was taken Sep 29, 2019 by JH and shows the normal brightness of the Betelgeuse and Bellatrix. At right are separate images of each star taken at high magnification Feb 3, 2020 with a Tec 140 refractor by Frank W. Clearly Betelgeuse has lost some of its “power”.

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ES Fox Observatory Clear Sky Chart

Note: the chart below may not show the current cloud patterns. Click anywhere on the chart for the current display. If chart is still out of date try clearing your browser cache.




Auroral Displays

Auroral displays in our area are declining as we are now passing through solar minimum. There have been periods of "blank Sun" where sunspots have been totally absent for a time. However, magnetic disturbances from the sun continue to produce auroras in the auroral zones and sometimes farther south (or north for aurora australis). So if the auroral oval in the graphic below is showing any RED, aurora borealis may be visible from your location. The graphic is updated regularly with time indicated at the top in UT so subtract 5 h to get local EST, or 4 h for DST. (Use the appropriate factor for other time zones). For more information click here: NOAA home website.


To receive auroral alerts directly to your email inbox as they are announced, visit NOAA Subscription Service (SWPC) and sign up for their alert service (still free).

Current Auroral Oval not available right now





Click on image below for the
Current Planetary Index Chart or Latest Solar Heliospheric Observatory Images:


Screen shot 2015-10-12 at 2.57.38 PM ........................... Screen shot 2015-08-11 at 10.46.57 AM

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From the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Image Archives:
A recent meeting of BAS showed images from the CFHT on Mauna Kea. By popular demand, this space will be devoted to showcasing some of these. Have a look at this site for more: CFHT Image Of Month


CFHT-DomeNightNorth-Cuillandre-1999
Star trails and "see-through" dome. Polaris altitude = 20° at Mauna Kea.

Jan-Image2016-CFHT-Coelum
Horsehead Nebula

Mar-Image2016-CFHT-Coelum
Helix Nebula

Dec-Image2015-CFHT-Coelum
NGC 6124 Open Cluster

Nov-Image2015-CFHT-Coelum
Portion of North America Nebula (Gulf of Mexico/Yucatan)

Feb-Image2016-CFHT-Coelum
Spiral galaxy IC 342

Sep-Image2015-CFHT-Coelum
Dust Cloud in Milky Way (B143)