Latest Update: July 7, 2019

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NPX-Innovations Star gazing 8:30 pm
Robertson Field Port Elgin
July 11 postponed
July 11 Event POSTPONED to July 18 same time/place. (Dang clouds!)

Aug 08: NPX-Innovations Star gazing 8:30 pm Legion Field in Kincardine


Apollo-50 Moon Landing Model Rocket Launch July 20 (2 pm)

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Join the BAS Rocketeers for model rocket launching (incl. Saturn 5) July 20, 2 pm on the football field of Peninsula Shores District School

See COMING EVENTS for details of other BAS events.

Naked Eye/Binocular Astronomy Events
Summer 2019

Planet Action Changing over to Evening Sky

Mercury is visible in the evening sky just after sunset (near Mars in Gemini) but both will drop back towards the Sun as summer progresses. The brightest planet in the sky right now is Jupiter and it rises in the east at sunset and remains visible all night long. Saturn follows Jupiter into the Milky Way sky by a couple of hours. Both planets reach opposition this summer and are well placed for viewing straddling the Milky Way until late fall.

Eventually Venus makes its way into the evening sky as well but it is not until late Sep/Nov that it gets far enough from the Sun to be easily seen. The Evening Star will shine much more prominently in the spring of 2020.

Jupiter at Opposition June 10, Saturn July July 9
Jupiter on June 10 reaches opposition and is in the sky all night long. Saturn is only two hours behind and reaches its own opposition a month later. Good summer viewing of these two gas giants is here.

Viewing Guides from Brian Ventrudo Cosmic Pursuits here:
Saturn Viewing Guide 2019 and Jupiter Viewing Guide 2019

Summer 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.

July 2019

02…Tue…19:16 New Moon rises locally at 5:30 am DST
02 🌑 19:23 Total Solar Eclipse; mag=1.046 (vis. Chile,S.Pacific -best of 2019!)
03….Wed..19:00 DST BAS meets at Fox Observatory 7 pm Brett T. speaks on Apollo 11
04…Thu… 08:34 Mercury 3.3°S of Moon
04…………13:20 Mercury 2.5°S of Beehive
04…………15:02 Beehive 0.2°S of Moon
05…………23:00 Mercury 3.8°S of Mars
06…Sat… 02:17 Regulus 3.2°S of Moon
06Sat…..20:00 Dark of Moon Viewing at Fox -public welcome. (Jupiter & crescent Moon)
09…Tue…10:55 FQ Moon rises locally at 1:53 pm DST
09 🌓 16:00 Saturn at Opposition (magn. 0.05, disk = 18”, ring tilt = 24.3°)
11………21:00 (9 pm) NPX-sponsored Moon/planet/star gazing Robertson Field Port Elgin, weather permitting.
13…Sat… 07:06 Mars 0.4°S of Beehive
13 ……… 19:43 Jupiter 2.3°S of Moon
16 …Tue…07:27 Saturn 0.2°N of Moon: Occultation S. Pacific, S. America. (Saturn-Moon sep’n 1° at 4 am DST)
16…………21:31 Partial Lunar Eclipse; mag=0.653 (vis. Indian Ocean, Mid.East, Africa, nothing vis. here.
16 🌕 21:38 Full Moon rises locally at 10:25 pm DST
20…Sat…14:00 (2 pm) 50th Anniversary Apollo Moon Landing Rocket Launch takes place on the football field of PSDS school in Wiarton. More in COMING EVENTS
25 🌗 01:18 LQ Moon rises locally at 12:30 am DST
28…Sun …00:47 Aldebaran 2.3°S of Moon
29…Mon…10:00 S. Delta-Aquarid Meteors (20/h, Moon 11% waning, rises 3:15 am DST)
31 🌑 12:12 pm DST New Moon rises locally 5:27 am DST Aug 1 (second NM in July)

August 2019

01…Thu…03:12 New Moon rises locally at 5:17 am DST
03Sat…..20:00 Dark of Moon Viewing at Fox -public welcome. (Jupiter & Saturn)
07 🌓 17:31 FQ Moon rises locally at 2:05 pm DST
07….Wed..19:00 DST BAS meets at Fox Observatory 7 pm: Members night
08………21:00 (9 pm) NPX-sponsored Moon/planet/star gazing Legion Field Kincardine, weather permitting.
09…Fri…. 22:53 Jupiter 2.5°S of Moon
09……….. 23:00 Mercury at Greatest Elong. West of Sun: 19.0°W
12...Mon…10:05 Saturn 0.0°N of Moon: Occultation Australia, S. Pacific (Saturn-Moon sep’n is 14 min. 6 am DST, 3 hours after they have set in the west .)
12 ………..14:59 Jupiter 4.3°N of Antares
13 …Tue…02:00 Perseid Meteor Shower (110/hr, 90% Moon -dang!)
15 🌕 12:29 Full Moon rises locally at 8:57 pm DST
17…Sat…..04:24 Mercury 1.2°S of Beehive
22-25…Thu-Sun Starfest at River Place -register at
23 🌗 14:56 LQ Moon rises locally 11:51 pm DST Aug 22
24…Sat….09:24 Aldebaran 2.4°S of Moon
27…Tue….14:30 Pollux 6.1°N of Moon
28…Wed…11:31 Beehive 0.2°S of Moon
🌑 10:37 New Moon rises locally at 6:40 am DST
31Sat…..20:00 Dark of Moon Viewing at Fox -public welcome. (Milky Way Messiers)


From Our Astrophotographers:

A Tough View of Mars and Mercury
The close approach of Mercury to Mars on June 18 did not occur in clear skies locally and there were pesky clouds on the western horizon blocking the view for several days before and after. However after the rain cleared out on June 20 and the sky dawned a bright blue (on the day of summer solstice), we had better luck. The views below show Pollux (dead centre) and Castor to its right. Look for the brighter Mercury in the left corner. Just below it and to the right is Mars just above the tree line. Closeup is provided below.


Closeup below shows Mars (right) and Mercury (left) at elevations of 2.5° and 3.3° above the horizon respectively. The brightness values according to Starry Night were 0.44 for Mercury and 1.8 for Mars. Camera data: John H. photo with Canon 6D and 24-105 zoom at 105 mm, exposure was 1/5 s at ISO 1600. Time of image was 10:26 pm, barely 25 minutes before the upper planet Mercury encountered the horizon. There may be some noctilucent cloud activity in the image as well, but it could just be the last bit of solar glow after sunset (9:12 pm DST). An hour and 13 minutes is a long afterglow, however. The upper image does look bluer than it should be if it was only fading sunlight which is usually st the other end of the spectrum.

Closeup Mara Merc Jun 21

Jupiter is Back!
The opposition of Jupiter occurred June 10 and now the Gas Giant is back in our skies at a decent time to start observing its cloud patterns and moon dance. Frank Williams captured this view on June 12 when two moons crossed the face of the Jovian disk. Io is the bright dot just touching the dark shadow near the right edge and Ganymede is about the same distance from its larger shadow at upper centre but it is not visible in this image. At this point in Jupiter’s orbit, the shadows fall almost straight back from any moon blocking the light so the moons will appear very close to their shadows for a time.

FrankW Jup dbl shadows Jun12

Frank adds: Using a Celestron 11" SCT Televue 2X powermate Canon 6d iso 3200 1/160th second and 3500 frames, stacked the best 350. (In Autostakert) , then processed in Registax (wavelet sharpening), and Pixinsight for noise reduction.

Really need a planetary camera (faster more frames) / higher planet elevation, better seeing , etc. Etc. to improve much further.


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)