Latest Update: Feb 19, 2019

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The BOEC was declared Canada’s 15th Dark Sky Preserve in Nov 2012.
More here:

At the ES Fox Observatory (established in 2011), we have a large reflecting telescope (a 28-inch Webster -temporarily under repair) and a 10-inch SCT on a GOTO mount that we use regularly for public viewing. We welcome new members.
CONTACT US to join.

Click for maps to: ES Fox Observatory or: Bailey Hall OSDSS.

Jan 20/21, 2019 LUNAR ECLIPSE

The recent lunar eclipse was clouded out locally, but lots of BAS members and others were spread out across Canada and many found at least a short break in the clouds to capture one or more images. There were enough submissions to put together additional pages for the Feb StarGazerNews which is available on the NEWSLETTER page. Below is a composite taken of images off the monitor during a live view over the internet provided by Griffiths Observatory in California. The telescope there was a veteran 12-inch Zeiss refractor and it provided excellent views. The composite below used 7 frames at various stages and shows a view of the entire eclipse in one image.
More images can be found in the Lunar Eclipse Special.

Ecl Spec cvr

If you missed this eclipse due to clouds, you only have to wait two years until May 2021, a bit longer than the usual interval between good total lunar eclipses, but then, we get a second total lunar eclipse in November the same year!


Comet Wirtanen is now gone… but another comet, C/2018 Y1 Yakamoto has been discovered! See VIS.COMETS page for details)

Next BAS Meeting is March 6, 2019 at Bailey Hall OSDSS, 7 pm (MAP)
More details on


Naked Eye/Binocular Astronomy Events
Spring 2019

Look to the Morning Sky for Planet Action
Venus is now spectacular as Morning Star and Mercury will appear in the western sky after sunset by mid-Feb. Jupiter is also a morning object and so is Saturn -all three are visible before sunup this winter. Look for nice groupings of the thin last crescent Moon with the naked-eye planets at month end all winter.

One Bright Evening Planet and two binocular gas giants.
-Mars, Neptune and Uranus

Only Mars remains in the evening sky as a naked eye planet. Mars will hang high above the SW horizon (50°!) until June of next year as it is moving to the east about as fast as the sky is “moving west” on a daily basis. Seeing surface features on the planet is difficult now and it is shrinking in apparent size. In June 2019, when Mars disappears into the solar glow, it is less than 10 arc-seconds across, less than half what it was at opposition. However, over the next several months, Mars can be spotted near Neptune, (Dec 7) and then Uranus (Feb 12) so the Red Planet acts as a marker for those two less-observed planets. Might as well go for the two-for-one on those dates.


February/March 2019 Astronomy Events

COMPLETE list of ASTRONOMY EVENTS FOR 2019 available here: ASTRONOMY 2019

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.
See SKY SIGHTS for more details about specific events.

February 2019
Note: Time is given in UT, subtract 5 hours for EST, 4 hours for DST
02 Sat 07:18 Saturn 0.6°S of Moon: Occultation visible in E. Hemisphere. Occurs below our horizon. Closest separation is 2.7° at 6 am moonrise Feb 2.
Mon 21:04 NM rises locally at 7:42 am EST
Tue 09:26 Moon at Apogee: 406 556 km
Tue 22:26 FQ rises locally at 11:18 am EST
13 Wed 04:00 Mars, Neptune less than 1° apart (evening Feb 12)
14 Thu 03:29 Aldebaran 1.7°S of Moon
Mon 03:05 Beehive 0.6°N of Moon
18 14:00 Venus, Saturn less than 1° apart (morning Feb 18)
19 Tue 09:06 Moon at Perigee: 356 762 km
19 13:08 Regulus 2.5°S of Moon
19 15:53 FM rises locally at 6:09 pm EST (the biggest “supermoon” of 2019)
Tue 11:28 LQ rises locally at 1:26 am EST
Wed 01:00 Mercury at Greatest Elongation East: 18.1°E
27 14:17 Jupiter 2.3°S of Moon
Feb 27 to Mar 3 Waning crescent Moon near Jupiter, then Saturn, then Venus in dawn sky, very photogenic.
Note: Next year (2020) is a leap year

March 2019
01…Fri…..8:40 Saturn 0.3°S of Moon: Occultation in Central Pacific. Occultation occurs below horizon for us.
02…Sat...21:28 Venus 1.2°N of Moon. Look for Jupiter, Saturn, crescent Moon, Venus in 6 am dawn sky. Nice!
04...Mon..11:25 Moon at apogee : 406 391 km
06...Wed..16:04 New Moon rises locally at 7:14 am EST
06…Wed..19:00 EST -First BAS meeting at Bailey Hall OSDSS 7 pm MAP
07...Thu…01:00 Neptune in Conjunction with Sun (not easily visible)
10...Sun...02:00 Daylight Saving Time starts (clocks ahead 1 hour)
11...Mon..12:09 Mars 5.8°N of Moon
13...Wed..10:13 Aldebaran 1.9°S of Moon
14...Thu…10:27 FQ Moon rises locally at 12:14 am DST
15...Fri…..02:00 Mercury at Inferior Conjunction (not easily visible)
17...Sun…13:01 Beehive 0.5°N of Moon
18...Mon…23:59 Regulus 2.6°S of Moon
19...Tue…19:47 Moon at perigee : 359 381 km
20...Wed..21:58 Vernal Equinox (Sun altitude 45° 20’ and climbing)
21...Thu…01:43 Full Moon rises locally at 7:15 pm DST
27...Wed..02:28 Jupiter 1.9°S of Moon
28...Thu…04:10 LQ Moon rises locally at 3:13 am DST
29...Fri….05:11 Saturn 0.1°N of Moon: Occ’n S.Afr./Indian O. Closest for us is 2.2° at moonrise 3:06 am EST
31...Sun...03:06 Mars 3.1°S of Pleiades


From Our Astrophotographers:

Cross-Canada Lunar Eclipse Jan 20/21, 2019
The lunar eclipse was clouded out for the most part locally, but intrepid BAS photographers (and friends) braved the wintery N. American climate to capture some stunning images of the event. Submissions came from Peter Thor and Rick Hirtle in Salmon Arm BC, Aaron Dittrich, Cochrane AB, Troy Johnstone, Olds AB, Robert Atkinson, London ON, Brett Tatton, Port Elgin ON, Ken Pituley Brampton ON, Frank Williams Allenford ON and even from across the border in St. Paul MN, c/o Chris Hlynialuk.

The entire imagers’ contributions with details of equipment and settings can be found in the
Lunar Eclipse Special which you can download here:
Lunar Eclipse Special .

The selection below showcases a few of the photos in the
Lunar Eclipse Special (also see the Feb 2019 issue of SGN). Enjoy!



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:

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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)