Latest Update: June 7, 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. See
CONTACT US to join.

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

DARK of the Moon Viewing at Fox Observatory.
June 8: Viewing after dark (9:30 pm) Bring bug repellant!

See COMING EVENTS for other event details.

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NASA is inviting the public to “get onboard” the MARS 2020 mission. Click on the pass above to get the details!

Naked Eye/Binocular Astronomy Events

Spring 2019

Look to the Morning Sky for Planet Action
Venus and Mercury in the morning sky are getting closer and closer to the Sun and rise closer and closer to sunup. Groupings of the Moon and planets are more spread out in the dawn sky now and Venus, although still bright is rising in morning twilight. Mercury re-appears in the evening sky in June.

Only Mars remains in the evening sky as a naked eye planet. Mars will hang high above the SW horizon (50°!) until June of 2019 as it is moving to the east about as fast as the sky is “moving west” on a daily basis. Surface features on the planet are impossible to see due to its small apparent size as it shrinks to less than 4 arc-seconds across. However, over the next month, watch Mars, looking like a magnitude 2 star, slightly reddish, travel through Gemini passing through M35 in mid-May and pairing with Mercury a few weeks later June 17 to 19.

Jupiter at Opposition June 10
Jupiter is starting to become visible around midnight now and gets better and better placed for observing until June 10 when it reaches opposition and is in the sky all night long. Saturn is only two hours behind. Good summer viewing is ahead.


May/June 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 (after March 10).
See SKY SIGHTS for more details about specific events.

May 2019
01…Wed..19:00 DST BAS meets at Bailey Hall OSDSS 7 pm MAP Phil Visser “Hooked on Time”
02…Thu…11:39 Venus 3.6°N of Moon
03….Fri….06:26 Mercury 2.9°N of Moon
04Sat20:00 Dark of the Moon viewing night at Fox Observatory. See COMING EVENTS for details.
04….Sat…22:45 New Moon rises locally at 6:25 am DST
06…Mon..08:00 Eta-Aquarid Meteor Shower (60/h, Moon 2% or less!)
06………..21:52 Aldebaran 2.3°S of Moon
07…Tue …23:36 Mars 3.2°N of Moon
10 …Fri….03:30 Pollux 6.3°N of Moon
11….Sat…01:35 Beehive 0.0°S of Moon (10:35 pm May 10). Moon (39%) occults several 6th and 7th mag. stars in southern part of Beehive Cluster.
11…………20:00 International Astronomy Night Public Viewing at
Fox Observatory CANCELLED due to clouds:.
12….Sun…01:12 FQ Moon rises locally at 12:07 pm DST
12…………14:19 Regulus 3.0°S of Moon
13…Mon…21:53 Moon at perigee : 369 017 km
18…Sat…..21:11 Full Moon rises locally at 8:38 pm DST
20…Mon…16:54 Jupiter 1.7°S of Moon
21…Tue….13:00 Mercury at Superior Conjunction (not easily visible)
22…Wed…22:25 Saturn 0.5°N of Moon: Occultation in far S. Pacific. Closest approach locally is 5° at 8:54 am at moonset in west.
26…Sun….03:27 Moon at apogee : 404 134 km
26…………16:33 LQ Moon rises locally at 2:23 am DST

June 2019
01….Sat…18:15 Venus 3.2°N of Crescent Moon, Pleiades nearby, -nice morning view.
01….Sat20:30 Huron Fringe Birders star talk and tour MacGregor Pk -contact John H. if you can help with your telescope.
03….Mon..10:02 New Moon rises locally at 6:03 am DST
04….Tue …15:42 Mercury 3.7°N of Moon
05….Wed..19:00 DST BAS meets at Fox Observatory 7 pm John H. speaks on Yerkes Observatory. NOTE: BAS meetings resume at Bailey Hall in Oct.
05….Wed…15:05 Mars 1.6°N of Moon
06….Thu…. 09:41 Pollux 6.2°N of Moon
07….Fri……07:19 Beehive 0.2°S of Moon. Moon sets (12:20 am) before any occultations.
07….….……23:21 Moon at perigee : 368 508 km
08….Sat…. 19:36 Regulus 3.2°S of Moon
08….Sat…..20:00 Dark of Moon Viewing at Fox -public welcome. (Jupiter & FQ Moon)
09….Sun…..01:51 Venus 5.0°S of Pleiades (close to sunrise)
10….Mon….05:59 FQ Moon rises locally at 1:38 pm DST
10….….……15:00 Jupiter at Opposition, magnitude -2.6, Saturn 30° to the east
16….Sun…..18:50 Jupiter 2.0°S of Moon
16….….……23:09 Venus 4.6°N of Aldebaran
17….Mon….08:31 Full Moon rises locally at 9:36 pm DST
18….Tue…. 18:00 Mercury 0.2° N of Mars, sep’n 18.5 min. when Mars sets 10:50 pm
….Wed….03:58 Saturn 0.4°N of Moon: Occultation S. Atlantic, S. America to S. Africa. min. sep’n 1° locally at moonrise 10:30 am DST.
19….….……13:04 Mercury 5.2°S of Pollux
21….Fri…….08:00 Mars 5.4°S of Pollux
21….….……15:54 Summer Solstice. Sun at highest elevation 69° 51’ in N. Hemisphere.
21….….……11:00 Celebrate Summer Solstice at Keppel Henge 11 am. More here: Summer Solstice
23….Sun…..07:50 Moon at apogee : 404 549 km
23….….…….23:00 Mercury at Greatest Elongation East of Sun: 25.2°E
25….Tue …...09:46 LQ Moon rises locally at 1:41 am DST
30….Sun…..15:06 Aldebaran 2.3°S of Moon


From Our Astrophotographers:

A Closeup Look at the Moon:
The sky is brightened by Luna for about half of the month so we should make the most of it. Julian Delf did and his image from Apr 15 is shown below. The Moon was in gibbous phase that evening (and it was clear that night -imagine that!). The Moon’s age was just under 11 days old (out of 29.53 days for a complete lunar cycle) and it was about 75% illuminated. Camera data: Sony SLT-A77V attached to a 10” Skywatcher Quattro F/4, (a very nice imaging newtonian), exposure was 1/350 s at ISO 50. Effective focal length is 1600 mm since the Sony has an APS-C chip which gives about a 1.6X enlargement factor.


The main lunar craters are Tycho, the prominent rayed crater at lower left and Copernicus, farther up in the centre of the large dark area, Oceanus Procellarum, the Ocean of Storms. The large circular mare above Copernicus is Mare Imbrium (Sea of Rains) and below that clockwise is the darker Mare Tranquillitatus (Tranquillity), Mare Serenitatis (Serenity) and to its right Mare Crisium (Sea of Crises).

Lagoon and Trifid Nebulas
The many deep sky objects of the Milky Way in Sagittarius and Scorpius are coming to a sky near you soon. And with it are Messier objects like the globular cluster M22, the Sagittarius Star Cloud M24 (see May SGN Image of the Month) and the Lagoon and Trifid Nebulas. Featured in this section is another Frank Williams image of the M8 and M20 region taken last fall. Frank was using a Canon 6D at the prime focus of a Tec 140 mm (5.5 inch) refractor. The final image is a stack of 60 3 minute exposures.


Andromeda Galaxy A relative newbie at astro-imaging, Rob Walker has dived into the hobby deeply. His fine image of M31 the Andromeda Galaxy below is one of his latest efforts and an indication of many fine views to come. Nice work Rob! The shot was made with a 400 mm Sony telephoto lens borrowed from Frank W. Enjoy! (The small “plus” sign in the upper corner is an artifact.)



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)