Latest Update: April 20, 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.

Next BAS Meeting is May 1, 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 and Mercury in the morning sky are getting closer and closer to the Sun and rise closer and closer to sunup. Jupiter is now rising around midnight and is in the sky all night long. Look for Saturn following Jupiter by about 3 hours -one is on the right of the Milky Way, the other is left if it.Groupings of the Moon and planets are more spread out in the dawn sky and Venus/Mercury rise in bright twilight.

One (moderately) Bright Evening Planet -Mars and one morning binocular gas giant -Neptune

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 difficult if not impossible to see considering its small 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 months, watch Mars travel through lower Taurus, passing the Pleiades at the end of March and into Gemini in June -it passes through M35 in early June and pairs with Mercury a few weeks later.

Neptune is the only gas giant presently far enough away from the Sun in dawn skies to see for an hour or two in darkness.


April/May 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.

April 2019
02..Tue…..04:18 Venus 2.7°N of Crescent Moon, Mercury and Neptune 0.4° apart at 6:30 am, nice grouping at dawn!
02………..23:01 Mercury 3.6°N of Moon
03…Wed..19:00 DST BAS meets at Bailey Hall OSDSS 7 pm MAP Astronomy Trivia Night
05..Fri……08:50 New Moon rises locally at 7:31 am DST
06Sat20:00 Dark of the Moon viewing night at Fox Observatory. See COMING EVENTS for details.
09..Tue…..06:40 Mars 4.7°N of Moon
09………..15:43 Aldebaran 2.1°S of Moon

11..Thu….19:00 Mercury at Greatest Elongation West of Sun: 27.7°W
12..Fri……19:06 FQ Moon rises locally at 11:59 am DST
13..Sat……20:12 Beehive 0.2°N of Moon
15..Mon….00:24 Mars 6.4°N of Aldebaran
15…………08:22 Regulus 2.7°S of Moon
16..Tue…..20:00 Mercury 4.3° of Venus
16…………22:02 Moon at perigee : 364 209 km
19..Fri……11:12 Full Moon rises locally at 8:36 pm DST

22 ..Mon...18:00 Lyrid Meteor Shower (20/h peak 8 pm DST Apr 22, Moon 88%)
23..Tue…. 00:00 Uranus in Conjunction with Sun (not easily visible)
23………. 11:36 Jupiter 1.6°S of Moon

25..Thu…..14:38 Saturn 0.4°N of Moon: Occultation in S.Pacific Australia to S.America. Closest approach is 0.8° bef. moonset (daytime) in W 11:04 am.
26..Fri…….22:18 LQ Moon rises locally at 2:41 am DST
28..Sun…..18:20 Moon at apogee : 404 577 km

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, ALL Welcome.
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


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 large circular mare above Copernicus is Mare Imbrium and below that clockwise is the darker Mare Tranquillitatus, Mare Serenetatis and to its right Mare Crisium.

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)