Latest Update: Sep 18, 2019

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Dark of the Moon Viewing at Fox Observatory.
Sat Sep 28 (8 pm), Weather-permitting.

Next BAS meeting Oct 2 at Bailey Hall OSDSS 7 pm
Public welcome.


See COMING EVENTS for details of other BAS events.

BAS receives a wonderful gift:

A generous donation was recently made to our club to further the ends of astronomy education in this area. Doug Scott, a local amateur astronomer, passed away July 2, 2019 and donated virtually all of his astronomical equipment to BAS to ensure that it would continue to be used to promote astronomy locally. The photo below shows a portion of the items BAS has received from his estate. It includes a Celestron C-11, Takahashi 8-inch Cassegrain-Newtonian, a TAL 150K reflector, a Vixen 4-inch reflector and a Skywatcher 100 mm refractor.


There are also two equatorial mounts with tripods, eyepieces, a Telrad finder, Star Shoot camera, and various other accessories.

BAS is eminently grateful for the bequest, and has made a donation to the Cancer Society as a small thank you. Rest assured that we will remember Doug as we pursue our astronomy activities.

Doug Scott picture
Doug Scott passed away July 2, 2019
in Southampton, ON

Naked Eye/Binocular Astronomy Events

Summer 2019

Jupiter and Saturn Viewing in the Evening Sky NOW!

The brightest planet in the sky right now is Jupiter and it is high in the sky at sunset and remains visible into the wee hours of the morning. Saturn follows Jupiter (look left of the Milky Way) 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 and Mercury make their way into the evening sky as well but it is not until late Sep/Nov that they get far enough from the Sun to be easily seen. The Evening Star will shine much more prominently in the spring of 2020.

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 or COMING EVENTS for more details about specific events.

September 2019


October 2019

Oct 2019 events


From Our Astrophotographers:

Locate Jupiter and Saturn near MW
The planets of the summer, Jupiter and Saturn are visible in this image taken from Starfest, by Julian Delf. It is up to you to find them. Jupiter is easy, as the brightest object in this shot, but Saturn is a bit trickier. Get out your star charts and have a go. Image taken with Sony A77V and 24 mm lens at f/2.8 and ISO 3200. The Milky Way shows up nicely right from Sagittarius to the Scutum which is the curve of stars at the top. One of those is actually M11 the Wild Duck Cluster or as this editor calls it “the Borg Cube”.
Julian’s image was cropped and enhanced a touch with Photoshop.

Julian Delf image: Starfest Aug 23, 2019

Saturn in prime viewing position now.
The opposition of Saturn occurred last July and now the Ringed Planet is in perfect viewing position from dark until it sets around midnight (late Sep). The rings are tilted almost as far as they can be (24°) and we are looking over them at the northern hemisphere of the planet.

Frank W. took some data to produce a very nice shot of Saturn at opposition last July. The image below is a stack of 350 images from a video of about 5000. Each frame was 1/200th s, ISO 6400. There is a lot of detail visible including a prominent Cassini division, bands on the surface and the shadow on the rings behind the disk. Even some polar banding is evident.

saturn_Tv1200s_6400iso_july 14-23h24m04s
Canon 6D on a C11 with 2 X Powermate. July 14 image by Frank Williams

Also presented below is a screen-snap from a video taken in June 2017 by imager Bosque Rico of Japan. This is close to the view of the planet on an average night, but on those rare nights of excellent seeing, the view is more like Frank’s above. And don’t forget the moons, -Sky and Telescope has an excellent interactive moon locator tool here:
Saturn Moons.
The full video below and more information from the source is available here:
Amateur Saturn Video

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Also, Brian Ventrudo has produced a really excellent viewing guide to Saturn here: Saturn 2019 Guide


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.)



Blue Snowball (NGC 7662)
Another nice image by Frank W. is his photo of the Blue Snowball below. It became a visual target at several viewing sessions and was finally reliably sighted at the Fox Observatory with the Coleman 8-inch SCT after a careful search (John H). It was also recognized in the Bishop 10-inch using Goto looking much like a small bluish star. An initial image with the Bishop 10-inch was obtained after the viewers had left, but nothing like the nice long exposure made by Frank below which consists of a stack of 51 images of 60 s duration at ISO 800. This object is surprisingly bright and takes high power well, much like the Ring Nebula in Lyra.

Frank Williams image of NGC 7662, the Blue Snowball. Chart provided below.


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)