Last update Sep 22, 2017

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The BOEC was declared Canada's 15th Dark Sky Preserve in Nov, 2012. At the ES Fox Observatory, we have a large reflecting telescope (a 28-inch Webster, recently re-aluminozed and working great!) and a 10-inch SCT on a GOTO mount that we use regularly in our public viewing sessions.

Click for maps to: ES Fox Observatory or Tom Thomson Art Gallery meeting locations.

Next public VIEWING EVENT (members and public welcome) is Oct 21 (8 pm) at Fox Observatory (Orionid meteor watch). Come dressed for a cool night.

Next BAS club meeting is Oct 4, 2017 (7 pm) at Tom Thomson Art Gallery.
(Movie night)

For a review of the Sep 6, 2017 meeting, see Meeting Recap

August 2017 StarGazerNews is available on NEWSLETTER page.
No SGN for September 2017 was published. October SGN coming soon.

ASTRONOMY EVENTS FOR 2017 -the complete list- is available here: ASTRONOMY 2017 BAS Club EVENTS list for 2017 has been updated here: BAS 2017 Club Events

Now Available: 2-part Solar Eclipse Special Issue.

Click here:
Part 1: Eclipse Special (pg 1 to 9) 5.3 MB
Click here: Part 2: Eclipse Special (pg 10 to 18) 9.6 MB

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Solar Eclipse SUCCESS!
BAS members have spectacular views in Grand Is. NE!


Image by Julian D. above is a single image of totality and shows the tendrils of the corona. Note also that Regulus is visible lower left. The Aug 21 solar eclipse was seen by 26 BAS members who set up at the KOA outside Grand Is. NE. Lots more details about this trip are now available in the Solar Eclipse special on the HOME and 2017 SOL.ECL. pages. See the Meeting Recap here: Sep 6 regular meeting which occurred at the Learning Centre for some of the images and videos.

Frank Williams provides this composite below:

eclipse collage 14 with text

Frank W. did more processing on the central image which involved stacking more than 2 dozen shots of the corona taken at different exposures to try to reproduce the view as the eye saw it. The central image is slightly enlarged for effect, all phases of the eclipse had the same size Sun. Also Frank composited in the pinhole image he took showing the partial phase of the eclipse. See the Solar Eclipse Special on the top of the
HOME page for more about how to take these images -look in Part 2 pg 13 for Pinhole Eclipsing.

August to October, 2017 (the short list)

BAS regular meetings are the 1st Wed of the month at 7 pm and start on Oct 4 back at the Tom Thomson Art Gallery. Click for Map. We will be back at the Tom Thomson Art Gallery in Owen Sound from Oct 4 to the last meeting of 2017 on Dec 6. There are no regular meetings in January and February. Check the calendar here: BAS 2017 Club Events (updated Aug 29) for meeting dates and other events like public viewing nights at the Fox Observatory.

If you would like to be included in our list for impromptu observing nights contact Brett T. or John H. Some of the more interesting sky viewing opportunities are also described graphically in SKY SIGHTS.

NOTE: ALL observing events require clear skies. If it is overcast or raining, observing will NOT be possible. If you arrive at the venue and it is overcast or raining, there may not be any BAS members there. See COMING EVENTS for more details and instructions including a contact phone number if you are unsure about whether to attend due to weather. When visiting the Fox Observatory, please park at the main lot by the Learning Centre (the green-roofed building by the big barn). Parking near the observatory is reserved for disability access and equipment drop-off.

NOTE: BAS Meetings and public viewings are open to the public at no charge. BAS viewing at ES Fox Observatory is also generally open to the public (see monthly listing below and our BAS 2017 Club Events (updated Aug 29). We welcome out-of-town guests on all of our listed observing nights. Individuals or groups may request private tours on other dates (subject to availability of guides) by contacting John H. at: . We also offer private tours/observing on a fee basis.

Our next BAS meeting is at the TOM THOMSON ART GALLERY on Wed. October 4, 2017 at 7pm. Topic: Movie Night. Regular meetings usually consist of a short business meeting and include a speaker or presentation on an astronomy topic. More details can be found in COMING EVENTS.

More details for astronomy viewing events for August to October, 2017 are listed below and on the COMING EVENTS page. A complete list of ASTRONOMY EVENTS FOR 2017 is available here: ASTRONOMY EVENTS 2017. Note this list changes from time to time as additional astronomy events are added. A list of BAS club events (meeting dates, public observing sessions, etc.) for 2017 is separately available here: BAS 2017 Club Events (updated Aug 29)


August 2017 Astronomy Events

Aug 02 Wed 19:00 BAS meets at ES Fox Obs. 7 pm (Starfest Recap)
02 Wed 13:55 Moon at Apogee: 405 026 km
03 Thu 03:31 Saturn 3.5°S of Moon
07 Mon 14:11 FM
07 Mon 14:20 Partial Lunar Eclipse; mag=0.246 (vis. in Eastern hemisphere only not locally)
11 Fri 20:00 Chantry Island Chambettes visit Fox Obs. for star tour. (Guide: John H.)
12 Sat 15:00 Perseid Meteor Shower peak at 3 pm, 90/h, moon is 75%. Public viewing at Fox after dark around 9 pm.
14 Mon 21:15 LQ
15 Tue 20:00 Owen Sound Cub Scouts tour of Fox Obs. and stargazing. (Guide: John H.)
16 Wed 02:39 Aldebaran 0.4°S of Moon (occultation but miss locally)
18 Fri 09:14 Moon at Perigee: 366 129 km
19 Sat 00:45 Venus 2.2°N of Moon (nicest on 19th in morning)
20 Sun 03:15 Beehive 3.2°N of Moon
20 Sun 14:08 Venus 7.2°S of Pollux
21 Mon 14:26 Total Solar Eclipse; mag=1.031 The Great N. American Solar Eclipse!
21 Mon 14:30 NM
25 Fri 09:00 Jupiter 3.5°S of Moon
26 Sat 17:00 Mercury at Inferior Conjunction (not visible)
29 Tue 04:13 FQ
30 Wed 07:25 Moon at Apogee: 404 307 km
30 Wed 10:23 Saturn 3.6°S of Moon

September 2017 Astronomy Events

Sep 01 Fri 02:08 Venus 1.4°S of Beehive
04 Mon 20:00 Mercury 3.2° of Mars
05 Tue 01:00 Neptune at Opposition
06 Wed 01:00 Neptune 0.8° N of Moon (occultation visible Antarctica)
06 Wed 03:03 FM
06 Wed 1900 BAS meets at Learning Centre of BOEC. Topic: Solar Eclipse Recap.

MEETING RECAP has some highlights.

10 Sun 08:00 Mercury 0.7°S of Regulus
10 Sun 17:44 Jupiter 2.9°N of Spica
12 Tue 06:00 Mercury at Greatest Elong: 17.9°W
12 Tue 08:45 Aldebaran 0.4°S of Moon (daytime occultation visible locally)
13 Wed 02:25 LQ
13 Wed 12:04 Moon at Perigee: 369 856 km
15 to 17 Inverhuron Prov. Pk Dark Sky Weekend members please contact John H. to register.
16 Sat 10:50 Beehive 3.1°N of Moon
16 Sat 14:00 Mercury 0.1° of Mars (18 min. sep’n at rise shrinks to 3 min. at 2:45 pm)
17 Sun 21:00 Venus 0.5° N of Moon (occultation in S. hemisphere)
18 Mon 01:00 Regulus 0.1° S of Moon (occultation vis. in E. Hemisphere)
18 Mon 16:00 Mars 0.1° S of Moon (occultation visible in Central and S. Pacific)
18 Mon 19:00 Mercury 0.03° N of Moon (occultation visible in Polynesia)
19 Tue 19:00 Venus 0.5° N of Regulus

20 Wed 01:30 NM
22 Fri 03:51 Jupiter 3.7°S of Moon
22 Fri 16:02 Autumnal Equinox
26 Tue 20:09 Saturn 3.5°S of Moon
27 Wed 02:49 Moon at Apogee: 404 342 km
27 Wed 22:54 FQ

October 2017 Astronomy Events

Oct 05 Thu 14:40 FM
05 Thu 19:00 Venus 0.2° N of Mars (16 min at rise, shrinking to 12.5 min.)
08 Sun 17:00 Mercury at Superior Conjunction (not visible)
09 Mon 01:51 Moon at Perigee: 366 858 km

09 Mon 14:05 Aldebaran 0.6°S of Moon
12 Thu 08:25 LQ
13 Fri 16:29 Beehive 3.0°N of Moon

15 Sun 06:54 Regulus 0.2°S of Moon (occultation from 5:48 am EDT to 6:30 am -a morning event)
17 Tue 06:04 Mars 1.8°S of Moon
17 Tue 20:21 Venus 2.0°S of Moon

19 Thu 13:00 Uranus at Opposition
19 Thu 14:12 NM

21 Sat 07:00 Orionid Meteor Shower (20/h) Moon only 3% illuminated
24 Tue 07:54 Saturn 3.3°S of Moon
24 Tue 22:25 Moon at Apogee: 405 151 km
26 Thu 14:00 Jupiter in Conjunction with Sun (not visible)
27 Fri 18:22 FQ

A list of ASTRONOMY EVENTS FOR 2017 is available here: ASTRONOMY EVENTS 2017. Note this list changes from time to time as additional astronomy events are added.

An astronomical calendar for 2017 (with diagrams of sky sights) is available for download from Alan Dyer's website here: (Also on the bottom of the "about Alan" page).


Naked Eye/Binocular Astronomy Events :
Saturn and Jupiter prime viewing this summer

The famous ringed planet Saturn reached opposition June 15 and Jupiter did the same a few months ago. Even before true darkness sets in these long twilight nights, both are bright enough to poke out of the twilight skies. Jupiter is quickly disappearing in the sunset glow but Saturn is still visible for the next few months and featured at star parties until late fall.

In the morning sky, Venus is shining brightly before dawn and Mercury joins the group by September. Mars gets out of the Sun’s glare as well and these three planets are on the west side of the Sun in September. Mid-September mornings (especially Sep 17 and 18 feature all three planets lined up before dawn plus a nice thin crescent Moon.

Image below shows Saturn in the centre left and Jupiter in the lower right corner, just about where there are in twilight skies in September. Image by John H. Antares is just to the right and below Saturn, the "claws" of the scorpion show up and Spica is below and left of Jupiter. This image was taken from my backyard in Owen Sound on July 25 around 10:30 pm as Jupiter was low in the west. Canon 6D, 10 mm focal length, ISO 3200, 30 s exp.



Jupiter Viewing is Done, Check out Saturn

Jupiter is getting lost in the sunset glare in the west in September and will be too close to the Sun to view by October. But don’t worry because Saturn is well up in the SW sky at sunset. Look right in the Milky Way above the spout of the Sagittarius Teapot. The planet is in perfect position for viewing and even in twilight shows details. Rings are at a maximum tilt our way so the planet is well-displayed. Brian Ventrudo has created an excellent document with more information describing all the ins and outs of observing Saturn this season and has made it available at his Cosmic Pursuits website here:

Image below: The architecture of Saturn’s rings and cloud bands (image credit: Robert English).


From Our Astrophotographers:

Frank Williams has submitted another stunning astro-image! The image below of globular cluster M5 in Serpens is a 3 hour exposure taken with his 5.5” (140 mm) refractor telescope.
He writes:
It was taken with an sbig 11000 ccd mono camera with chip cooled to -25c. The exposure is 30 minutes luminosity (10 x 3 minute exposures) 1 hour each through red green and blue filters (2‎0 x 3 minutes each) 70 individual images altogether,  through a TEC 140 mm refractor from my front yard skypod  observatory in Allenford. Processed (stacking, etc.) using pixinsight. Losmandy titan mount and a KW kwikguider. Images taken over the few clear nights over last week. “

m5 3.5 hrs

The star to the left is double star 5-Serpentis, a 5th magnitude star with an 10th magnitude companion about 11 arc-sec away.

Info for M5 from Wikipedia:
M5 is, under extremely good conditions, just visible to the naked eye as a faint "star" near the star 5 Serpentis. Binoculars or small telescopes will identify the object as non-stellar while larger telescopes will show some individual stars, of which the brightest are of apparent magnitude 12.2.

M5 was discovered by the German astronomer Gottfried Kirch in 1702 when he was observing a comet. Charles Messier also noted it in 1764, but thought it a nebula without any stars associated with it. William Herschel was the first to resolve individual stars in the cluster in 1791, counting roughly 200.

Spanning 165 light-years in diameter, M5 is one of the largest known globular clusters. The
gravitational sphere of influence of M5, (i.e. the volume of space in which stars are gravitationally bound to it rather than being torn away by the Milky Way's gravitational pull) has a radius of some 200 light-years.

At 13 billion years old, M5 is also one of the eldest globular clusters in the
Milky Way Galaxy. Its distance is about 24,500 light-years from Earth, and it contains more than 100,000 stars, as many as 500,000 according to some estimates.


The countdown to the Great Aug 21 2017 Solar Eclipse is OVER: -A detailed report is available on the 2017 Sol.Ecl. page!

Mar 29, 2006 Solar Eclipse Montage from Antalya Turkey by J.Hlynialuk

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 have passed solar maximum. There have been periods of "blank Sun" where sunspots have been totally absent for a time. However, at far northern and southern latitudes near the auroral ovals, sometimes magnetic disturbances from the sun produce auroras even without visible sunspots. So if the auroral oval in the graphic below is showing an intense 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.

Current Auroral Oval not available right now

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

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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

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

Horsehead Nebula

Helix Nebula

NGC 6124 Open Cluster

Portion of North America Nebula (Gulf of Mexico/Yucatan)

Spiral galaxy IC 342

Dust Cloud in Milky Way (B143)