General Info: PLEASE READ
Note: Observing is weather dependant -see Weather Information note at right.
BAS Meeting Locations: (not weather dependant)
Meetings happen at 7 pm at
Tom Thomson Art Gallery (map) Meeting Room Lower Level on March 1, Apr 5, May 3, Oct 4, Nov 1, Dec 6, 2017 (first Wed of the Month). The next meeting of BAS is May 5 at TTAG.
ES Fox Observatory (ONLY on these dates in 2017: Jun 7, Jul 5, Aug 2, Sep 6) (washrooms are available) (map)
Observing Locations: (all locations are handicap accessible)
Observing happens mostly at the ES Fox Observatory (click for map) but there are other venues periodically. See the list below for location details.
Most observing locations are “remote locations” meaning there are NO permanent on-site washroom facilities. A portable washroom is located near the Fox Observatory for the summer months only.
BAS Observing Events (dates listed below) occur at the ES Fox Observatory (3092 Bruce Rd 13) at the Bluewater Outdoor Ed Centre. Viewing at the observatory is WEATHER DEPENDENT. See notes below for more about weather.
Best observing occurs during NM and LQ. When the Moon brightens the sky at FQ and FM fainter objects are not as easily seen. The Moon, planets, and star clusters are usually visible even during FM nights using our GOTO telescope.
Note: Most observing events at the Fox Observatory are open to the public (we gratefully accept donations to support our activities if you are inclined to do so). School-aged children are always free and welcome to attend with parents or guardians. Refer to each listing below for details. If you are coming from a distance we will try to accommodate you. Contact us by phone (519-379-7709) or email email@example.com ahead of time.
ALL observing events require clear skies. If it is overcast or raining, the observing event will NOT be possible. If you arrive at the venue, there may not be any BAS members there. However, BAS monthly (indoor) meetings occur rain or shine.
If skies are partly cloudy, check the ES Fox Observatory Clear Sky Clock for weather prospects or call 519-379-7709 to confirm the event.
This list was updated April 20 and includes events to the end of June 2017.
Note: BAS meetings are NOT held in January and February but impromptu observing sessions continue on weekends at the Fox Observatory. Contact Brett T. at firstname.lastname@example.org or John H. at email@example.com to be put on the alert list for these.
Stargazing at the Fox Observatory is only possible weather permitting. When visiting the observatory, park in the lot near the Learning Centre and walk to the observatory please. Washrooms at the Learning Centre will be available for all ES Fox events and a portable washroom is on site for the summer.
Astronomical and BAS viewing events April, May and June 2017:
The next BAS meeting occurs on May 3, 2017 at 7 pm at the Tom Thomson Art Gallery.
Impromptu observing continues at the Fox Observatory on a small group basis. To be put on the notification list email Brett T. at firstname.lastname@example.org or John H. at email@example.com. Interesting sky events are described graphically in SKY SIGHTS.
The list of Astronomy Events for 2017 is available here: ASTRONOMY EVENTS 2017. There is a separate list of BAS events for 2017 available here: BAS 2017 Club Events (updated Apr 19)
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Apr 01 Sat 04:50 Aldebaran 0.3°S of Moon -no occultation visible in local area as Moon/Aldebaran are below our horizon and it is a close miss anyway.
Apr 01 Sat 06:00 Mercury at Greatest Elongation: 19.0°E An opportunity to view Mercury at its farthest from the Sun. It is still 5 degrees above western horizon at 8 pm or so (end of evening twilight)
Apr 03 Mon 14:39 FQ
Apr 05 Wed 19:00 BAS meets at Thomson Art Gallery 7 pm Elections & Trivia Night. BAS executive election results will be announced and we have our annual Astronomy Trivia contest where teams vie for fabulous prizes and the coveted Trivia Trophy.
Apr 07 Fri 17:00 Jupiter at Opposition Jupiter reaches its highest point in our spring skies rising at evening sunset and setting at morning sunrise so it is in the sky all night long. It is bright at mag -2.46, and a whopping 44 arc-sec in diameter which is the largest it gets for the year. Prime time Jupiter viewing!
Apr 11 Tue 02:08 FM
Apr 19 Wed 05:57 LQ
Apr 21 Fri 04:16 Mars 3.4°S of Pleiades Mars makes a close pass to the Pleiades and sits between M45 and Aldebaran which has a similar colour to Mars. Alpha-Tauri is a magnitude brighter than Mars (0.84 vs 1.6) since the red Planet is on the other side of the solar system from us. Give it a year or so and Mars will be back!
Apr 22 Sat BAS Dark of the Moon viewing night (after dark around 9 pm) Messier Marathon backup night and Earth Day public viewing. Come and view as many Messier objects as you like or just do some ordinary star gazing on your own or through club scopes. More info here: Marathon info and charts here: Messier Charts . This is shortly after the peak night for the Lyrid Meteor shower as well. See next item.
Apr 22 Sat 08:00 Lyrid Meteor Shower This little observed shower is not intense (20 per hour) but the Moon is not bright tonight. Peak rate is 20 per hour in the wee morning hours (Fri night/Sat morning), the Moon is past LQ and only 20% illuminated and does not rise until 4 am when Lyra is 60° high -good conditions for the Lyrids, for a change.
Apr 26 Wed 08:16 NM
Apr 28 Fri 12:28 (pm DST) A daytime occultation of Aldebaran is visible from North America at 12:28 pm DST. This is a relatively easy observation for those with properly aligned Go-To telescopes, and with a 2.5 day old Moon, it may be possible to locate it with binoculars first and then your main telescope. See SKY SIGHTS entry for Apr 28 which has more details.
Apr 28 Fri 13:19 Aldebaran 0.5°S of Moon A nice grouping of objects above the western horizon includes the thin crescent Moon, Aldebaran, Mars and M45 in that order. The dwarf planet Ceres is also in the area as well. Photo Op! See SKY SIGHTS for star chart.
Apr 29 Sat 21:00 (at dark) International Astronomy Day. Public viewing at Fox Observatory. Stargazing at the Fox Observatory is only possible weather permitting. When visiting the observatory, park in the lot near the Learning Centre (maps here) and walk to the observatory please. Washrooms at the Learning Centre (a sort walk back to the parking area) will be available for all ES Fox events but there is no washroom at the observatory itself. Come dressed for a cool night as it often is near freezing after dark this time of year. A red filtered flashlight is handy near the observatory as it does not hurt night vision. White is fine if you are heading back to your vehicle in the parking lot. In any case kindly point the light down on the ground and not up in people's faces.
May 03 Wed 19:00 BAS meets at Thomson Art Gallery 7 pm Topic: Women in Astronomy, Speaker: Zoë Kessler.
May 05 Fri 22:00 Eta-Aquarid meteor shower is spoiled by a bright moon in the sky (79%) and by the fact that Aquarius, the location of the radiant of the shower does not rise until just before dawn. There is a very short viewing window but some of the brighter meteors may be seen prior to the peak time. BAS has no group observing planned for this shower.
May 17 Wed 19:00 Mercury greatest western elongation (25.8°) Mercury gets as far west of the Sun as it can today in the morning sky. For several weeks, it has been following Venus, the official Morning Star, into dark skies before dawn brightens the sky in the east. Venus and Mercury are about 20 degrees apart for a few weeks but as Mercury picks up speed away fromVenus, the separation grows and Mercury is lost in the Sun's glare by the start of June. Venus remains a prominent morning object for many more months.
May 23 Tue 05:00 Crescent Moon, Venus and Mercury in am. This morning, a 2.5-day-before-new Moon sits in the 20 degree gap between Venus and Mercury. A nice view of the brightest planetary objects in our solar system (except for the Sun of course). May 22 had the Moon closer to Venus and May 24, the Moon will be left of Mercury and beyond the group. See SKY SIGHTS for more info.
May 27 Sat BOEC/Ducks Unlimited Open House this afternoon (1 pm to 4 pm) sponsored by BOEC and Ducks Unlimited includes Fox Observatory tours followed by viewing after dark (see next entry).
May 27 Sat BAS Dark of Moon viewing night (public welcome). Viewing starts at dark (around 9 pm).
Jun 02 Fri 19:30 TTAG Patrons Club tours Fox Obs. (guide: JH)
Jun 03 Sat 20:30 Huron Fringe Birders star talk/observing at McGregor Pk (guide: JH. Members requested to attend with telescopes for the viewing after the talk, weather permitting. Contact John if you can attend.)
Jun 03 Sat 07:00 Venus farthest west of Sun. Venus is at Greatest Western Elongation (45.9°) this morning and starts its long trip back towards the Sun. There are still several months of Venus viewing left however, since it does not leave the morning sky until winter 2017. See SKY SIGHTS for an additional June 3 event.
Jun 07 Wed 19:00 BAS meets at ES Fox Obs. 7 pm Topic: August Eclipse Preview, Speaker: John H.
Jun 10/11 Sat/Sun Bruce 150 Open House (BOEC and Fox Observatory) with viewing after dark at the Fox Observatory. Guide: John H. Contact John if you can help out.
Jun 15 Thu 05:00 Saturn at Opposition The famous ringed planet has been in fine viewing position for at least a month but officially reaches opposition this morning. Even in May it was rising before midnight and now it peeks above the eastern horizon at sunset and crosses the sky during the night and sets in the west when the sun is rising. It is bright, magnitude 0.0 and its rings are as tilted as they can get (27°.) See SKY SIGHTS for more info.
Jun 20 Tue 18:00 Venus and Crescent Moon. A five-day-before-new crescent Moon appear near Uranus (7 degree separation) on June 19 and then sits to the right of Venus June 20 and left of Venus June 21, about equal distance each night, 7 to 8 degrees. The much thinner crescent on June 21 (3 days before new) makes for a prettier picture with earthshine and bright Venus right nearby. See SKY SIGHTS for more info.
Jun 21 Wed 11:00 Summer Solstice Celebration at Keppel Henge starts 11:00 am. Time of solstice is June 21 at 12:24 am EDT.
Jun 22 Thu 09:40 Aldebaran occulted by moon in daylight. A daytime occultation of Aldebaran by a thin crescent (1.8 days before new) happens in blue sky in mid-morning around 9:40 am DST. The moon is 50 degrees high while the Sun is much closer than last month only 22 degrees east of the Moon. Be careful not to point your scope accidentally at the Sun while you are looking through your finder. See SKY SIGHTS for more info.
Jun 22-25 Thu-Sun K-W RASC is holding a Dark Sky Weekend at Camp Kintail. More details here: K-W Star Party Camp Kintail
Jun 24 Sat 21:00 BAS Dark of Moon viewing night (public welcome). Viewing starts at dark around 9 pm.
A list of ASTRONOMY EVENTS FOR 2017 is available here: ASTRONOMY EVENTS 2017. 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: www.amazingsky.com (look at the bottom of the "about Alan" page).