Last update Monday, Nov 20, 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-aluminized 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 Dec 16
Viewing Dec 16 (8 pm) at Fox Observatory weather-permitting.

Next BAS club meeting is Dec 6, 2017 (7 pm) at Tom Thomson Art Gallery.
(Xmas social and 2017 recap)

For a review of the Nov 1, 2017 meeting, see Meeting Recap

NOV 2017 SGN StarGazerNews is now available on NEWSLETTER page.

Or Click Image below:

.Nov 2017 SGN cvr

ASTRONOMY EVENTS FOR 2017 -the complete list- is available here: ASTRONOMY 2017 (amended for Nov)
2018 Astronomy Events coming soon
BAS Club EVENTS list for 2017 has been updated here:
BAS 2017 Club Events

November and December, 2017 (the short list)

BAS regular meetings are the 1st Wed of the month at 7 pm at the Tom Thomson Art Gallery. Click for Map. We will be meeting at the Tom Thomson Art Gallery in Owen Sound for the LAST time on Dec 6, 2017. A new venue for 2018 is being sought. Stay tuned. There are no regular meetings in January and February. Check the calendar here: BAS 2017 Club Events for meeting dates and other events like public viewing nights at the Fox Observatory. Please note: The Fox Observatory is NOT available for viewing during school-year weekdays (including evenings) since OEC school activities take precedence.

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 weather cancellation. 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 are open to the public at no charge. BAS viewings at the ES Fox Observatory are also held on Dark of the Moon weekends but please check the monthly listing below and our BAS 2017 Club Events for specific dates and time. The property is NOT available for viewing during weekdays since OEC school activities take precedence.

We welcome out-of-town guests on all of our listed public observing nights. Individuals or groups may request private tours on other dates (subject to availability of guides and on a fee basis) by contacting John H. at:

Our next BAS meeting is at the TOM THOMSON ART GALLERY on Wed. Dec 6, 2017 at 7pm. Topic: Xmas Social and 2017 recap. 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 October to December, 2017 are listed below and on the COMING EVENTS page. A complete list of ASTRONOMY EVENTS FOR 2017 is available here: ASTRONOMY EVENTS 2017-amended NOV. Note that three events have been added to the Nov 2017 events list. 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)


November 2017 Astronomy Events

Nov 02 Thu 09:58 Venus 3.3°N of Spica
04 Sat 01:23 FM
05 Sun 02:00 Eastern Standard Time begins (clocks back 1 hr)
05 Sun 06:00 S Taurid Meteor Shower (10 per hour, moon 98%)
05 Sun 19:09 Moon at Perigee: 361 438 km
05 Sun 21:19 Aldebaran 0.8°S of Moon (occ’n from 8:05 pm-9 pm EST) Second last in current series.
09 Thu 20:58 Beehive 2.7°N of Moon
10 Fri 15:37 LQ
11 Sat 11:07 Regulus 0.4°S of Moon (no occultation visible locally)
12 Sun 06:00 N Taurid Meteor Shower (15 per hour, moon 32%)
12 Sun 12:50 Mercury 2.2°N of Antares
13 Mon 01:00 Venus 0.3° N of Jupiter !
14 Tue 19:40 Mars 3.2°S of Moon
Nov 14 and Nov 15 mornings ISS transits across the crescent Moon.
More details on
16 Thu 16:00 Jupiter 4° S of Moon
17 Fri 12:00 Leonid Meteor Shower (20/hour, moon 1% -a GOOD year for Leonids!)
FOLLOWING EVENT CANCELLED: 18 Sat 20:00 BAS Dark of the Moon viewing night. Public welcome. Note this event will happen only if the sky is clear or mostly clear.
18 Sat 06:42 NM
20 Mon 19:34 Saturn 3.0°S of Moon
21 Tue 13:52 Moon at Apogee: 406 132 km
23 Thu 19:00 Mercury at Greatest Elongation: 22.0°E
24 ISS transits Moon 8:18 pm. See BAS WEBLOG
26 Sun 12:03 FQ
28 Tue 04:00 Mercury 3° S of Saturn
29 Wed 09:30 Mars 2.9°N of Spica

December 2017 Astronomy Events

03 Sun 08:00 Aldebaran 0.8°S of Moon (occultation below our horizon)
03 Sun 10:47 FM
04 Mon 03:42 Moon at Perigee: 357 496 km
06 Wed 19:00 Mercury 1.3° of Saturn

06 Wed 19:00 BAS meets at Tom Thomson Art Gallery 7 pm: Topic: Xmas social and 2017 recap
07 Thu 04:30 Beehive 2.5°N of Moon
08 Fri 14:33 ISS transits Sun. See
17:25 Regulus 0.7°S of Moon
10 Sun 02:51 LQ
12 Tue 12:41 ISS transits Sun. See
21:00 Mercury at Inferior Conjunction (not visible)

13 Wed 01:00 Geminid Meteor Shower (120/h) Moon only 14% illuminated
13 Wed 11:27 Mars 4.2°S of Moon
14 Thu 09:26 Jupiter 4.2°S of Moon
16 Sat @ dark Dark of the Moon viewing session; public welcome, weather permitting
18 Mon 01:31 NM
18 Mon 20:27 Moon at Apogee: 406 605 km

21 Thu 11:29 Winter Solstice
21 Thu 15:00 Saturn in Conjunction with Sun (not visible)
22 Fri 10:00 Ursid Meteor Shower (10 per hour, Moon 13% - a minor shower)
26 Tue 04:20 FQ
30 Sat 19:25 Aldebaran 0.7°S of Moon (disapp. 6:20 pm, reapp. 7:19 pm, moon 93%) Last such occultation visible from N. America.

A list of ASTRONOMY EVENTS FOR 2017 is available here: ASTRONOMY 2017 (amended for Nov) 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 :
The planet action is now in the morning sky.


Image above is a view over the eastern horizon Oct 18 with a nice thin last crescent Moon, Venus above it, and Mars and the star Zavijava at upper right. This was one of the few mornings in October with clear skies at dawn. The headland at the horizon is the Meaford Tank Range with one of the red tower lights visible. Look east in morning skies in mid-Nov for Venus and Jupiter to be in appulse and for ISS to pass across the face of the Moon Nov 13 and 14. Image taken by John H. with Canon 6D and 35 mm lens at f/4.5, 5 seconds ISO 3200. View was obtained from the Kemble Women’s Institute Lookout just south of Kemble, ON (my favourite spot for nice views to the east).


ISS Transits the FQ Moon Nov 24
and the Sun on Dec 8 and 12
Click on any image for enlargement or see BAS WEBLOG for details.

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From Our Astrophotographers:

Andromeda Galaxy!
Frank Williams does it again.


Frank Williams took advantage of a few clear hours to capture our favourite external galaxy, M31. As he explains in more detail below, this was a relatively short exposure one a small refractor and an indication of what is possible with modern optics and tracking mounts. He writes:

It is a work in progress a mere 30 minutes 10 x 3 minute exposures in each of red blue and green filters for a total of 90 minutes Friday night. I used my Tec 140 mm apo (refractor) with SBIG 11000 mono ccd. (11 Megapixel) I cooled it flat out to get chip to -30C for minimum noise.  Losmandy Titan mount in my front yard guided with my Televue 85 and a Starlight Express guide camera. That Televue is a workhorse! M31 image you have from it with Canon T2i was not bad either but aperture and cooling help a lot.

I was disappointed Wednesday night by the sky conditions. M31 in Webster with good conditions is a marvel to behold.‎ I look forward to another Webster night this fall with better conditions. Before the winter clouds. -Frank


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.


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)