General Info: PLEASE READ
Note: Observing is weather dependant -see Weather Information note at right.

BAS Meeting Locations: (not weather dependant)
Note: No BAS meeting occur in January or February due to travel issues in winter months.
Meetings happen at 7 pm (first Wed of the Month) at Bailey Hall OSSDS (fall dates TBA) or ES Fox Observatory (July 4, Aug 1, Sep 5 ) (washrooms available) (map)

The next regular monthly meeting of BAS is at 7 pm Aug 1, 2018 at ES Fox MAP Speaker: Frank Williams: -Imaging planets

BAS Observing Locations: (all locations are handicap accessible)
Observing happens mostly at the ES Fox Observatory (3092 Bruce Rd 13) but there are other venues periodically. See the list below for location details.

Most o
bserving 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 and the washrooms are available at the Learning Centre (key required) at other times.

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. The list of Astronomy Events for 2018 is available here: ASTRONOMY EVENTS 2018. There is a separate list of BAS CLUB events for 2018 here: 2018 BAS CLUB EVENTS

Note: Observing events at the Fox Observatory are open to the public on public viewing nights ONLY. We are not open during weekdays or evenings during the school year. Refer to each listing below for details. School-aged children are always free and welcome to attend with parents or guardians on public nights. Contact us by phone (519-379-7709) or email ahead of time. Donations to support our activities are gratefully accepted.

BAS member impromptu observing also occurs at the Fox Observatory. These are restricted to current members who must notify the organizer that you are coming. Members wishing to be put on the notification list please email Brett T. at or John H. at


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 Apr 7 and includes events for April and May 2018.

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 or John H. at to be put on the alert list for these.

Stargazing at the Fox Observatory is only possible weather permitting and ONLY on official BAS-sponsored events. There is NO general public access to the facility at other times. 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 BAS-sponsored events and a portable washroom is on site for the summer.

The next BAS regular Wed night meeting occurs on Aug 1, 2018 at 7 pm at ES Fox Observatory. Click for MAP.


Selected Astronomical and BAS Club events: July/August 2018:

(Times are in 24-hr format unless otherwise noted).

Note: there are no regular BAS meetings in Jan or Feb, only impromptu viewing at Fox Observatory or other locations (like Sauble Beach) weather-permitting.

July 2018

Jul 04 (Wed) 19:00 BAS meeting at 7 pm at ES Fox Observatory at the Outdoor Ed Centre near Wiarton
(MAP) . Speaker is Brett Tatton, whose topic will be about the manned space program and some of the interesting things that you may not have known before as classified documents are revealed and personal stories of the participants are finally told. It should be an interesting talk! Come dressed for the weather since the Fox Observatory is not heated and if weather permits, there is observing after dark. Bring lawn chairs and bug spray as well. Bring your own coffee mug to help out the environment. We can do away with styrofoam cups eventually.

Jul 12 (Thu) 00:00 Mercury at Greatest Elongation 26.4°East of Sun. Mercury has joined Venus as an evening planet above the western horizon for the last few weeks. it continues to be visible in bright twilight after sunset until the end of July or so. It passes below the Beehive Cluster on July 3 after Venus passed above it June 19.

Jul 13 (Fri) to 15 (Sun) Dark Sky Weekend at Bruce Peninsula National Park
This is the BAS members' annual dark sky weekend at the BPNP. Paid up BAS members get free camping at a group campsite in return for bringing their telescopes to share the stars with day visitors and campers at the park. Viewing area is the Head of Trails parking lot and BAS will be camping a bit farther away from it, campsite 1. The other two former group sites have been converted to parking! Paid up BAS members wishing to get free campsites MUST register with Brett T. or John H. by June 30 so that names of BAS attendees can be sent to BPNP staff. Group site 1 is far enough away from the viewing site that vehicles will be necessary to transport your equipment. The group site is quite treed and not great except for zenith viewing. It will be much quieter however, considering the amount of traffic there could be at Head of Trails. Day visitor numbers are growing and growing, so count on it being a busy weekend..

Jul 13 (Fri) Young crescent Moon in West There is an opportunity to spot a young (1 day old) Moon this evening just after sunset. Not a record by any means but give it a try. Sunset is at 9:07 pm EDT and the Moon seems around 9:40 pm so there is a half hour or so to scout around for the razor-thin crescent. Good luck. Images sent to John H. at StarGazerNews would be welcome.

Jul 15 (Sun) Venus, Crescent Moon, Mercury and Regulus in West.
There is a nice collection of objects in the west tonight with two planets, the crescent Moon and a bright star. Look for -4 magnitude Venus 2° to the left of the 3.5 day-old crescent Moon, and Regulus (mag. 1.3) about 5° to the right of the Moon. Closer to the horizon is Mercury (mag. 0.7) about 10° farther to the right and down. The night before, July 14, Mercury and a younger 2.5 day crescent were about 2° apart.

Jul 27 (Fri) Mars at Opposition (-2.76) The planet Mars has been brightening and growing in size in our sky up to now and reaches the culmination of its visibility tonight. Up to now we have had to wait until well into the evening to view Mars, but from now on, it is in the sky at sunset and in an hour or so climbs above the murky air near the horizon into good viewing position. This year, Mars is closer at just under 58 million km than it was since 2003. Brightness is a spectacular -2.76 and it is 24 arc seconds across. The only down side is that it is only 20° above the southern horizon when it reaches the meridian around 1 am EDT so features will be viewed through a larger column of turbulent air that at other oppositions. In any case, get out to view Mars often and there will be times when the atmosphere steadies down and allows glimpses of the surface features there. SkyNews magazine has a Mars viewing Guide here: Mars in 2018

Note re: July 12 Partial Solar Eclipse and July 27 Lunar Eclipse, neither are visible from the Bruce-Grey area. Try the website if you are interested in more about these or other eclipses coming up.

August 2018

Aug 01 (Wed) 19:00 BAS meeting at 7 pm at ES Fox Observatory at the Outdoor Ed Centre near Wiarton
(MAP) . Speaker is Frank Williams, whose topic will be Image Processing and he will give us some insight into the amazing work he does (see bottom of HOME page for an example). Come dressed for the weather since the Fox Observatory is not heated nor bug-free. If weather permits, there is observing after dark. Bring lawn chairs, bug spray and your own coffee mugs to help out the environment and so we can do away with styrofoam/paper cups eventually.

Aug 09 (Thu) to 12 Sun STARFEST (Register at The annual amateur astronomers nirvana with speakers, professional and amateur, telescopes and other observing-related equipment and lots of time to get re-acquainted with your stargazing friends from different places in Canada and the USA. Get your registration in by July 15 for a discount on the fee. See the NYAA website above for details.

Aug 11 (Sat) 04:46 Partial Solar Eclipse; With the Sun below the horizon locally, this partial eclipse is not visible in western hemisphere except 40% partial in Greenland and N. Europe. Asia gets the maximum view at 80% or so. Not total anywhere on Earth.

Aug 12 (Sun) 21:00 Perseid Meteor Shower peaks tonight. The peak rate for this shower should be 90 meteors/h, and we have only a very thin Moon (4%) to brighten the sky. Many BAS members will be back from Starfest Sunday night and there will likely be viewing at Fox (weather permitting). But you only need a dark sky location with a view to the NE for meteor watching so make this a friends and family event, -it should be a good show. Here is an article about how to get the best out of meteor watching: Meteor shower 2018 guide S&T and how to watch: Watching Meteors
Also here is a quick-read, one-page download:
Meteor watching

Aug 16 (Thu) 21:00 Kincardine Stargazing Some BAS members travel to Kincardine to host a star gazing tour for locals at the Soccer Fields. Contact John H. if you are in the area and can help out.

Aug 17 (Fri) 11:00 Venus at Greatest Elongation 45.9° East of Sun. Venus has been tracking across the western sky all spring and summer and continues to be a bright source in the sky for a time yet. Technically, tonight it stops moving eastward and starts the long trek back towards the Sun. It also starts to drop downwards towards the SW horizon a bit more each night so it gets lower and lower at sunset. It continues to be a prominent Evening Star, however.

Aug 21 (Tue)19:00 OS Cubs Group @Fox (R. Smith) -a private local group on a star tour.

Aug 26 (Sun) 15:00 Mercury at Greatest Elongation 18.3° West of Sun. In the morning sky, Mercury has been moving steadily away from the Sun rising earlier and earlier. Today it reaches the farthest distance from the Sun and starts returning to Sol’s vicinity over the next few weeks. Why mid-Sep it is back in the Sun’s glare, -a real speedster compared to Venus.

Aug 31 (Fri) 23:45 Venus 1° from Spica Look for Venus to slip below Spica, the brightest star in Virgo (mag 1.0), tonight. The view should be darkest after 9 pm local time, but Venus is less than a degree above the horizon at the time. Maybe you can check for a green or even a blue flash from Venus if the sky is clear to the west.

A list of ASTRONOMY EVENTS FOR 2018 is available here: ASTRONOMY EVENTS 2018. Note that this list is amended periodically to correct or add events.

Alan Dyer’s astronomical calendar for 2018 (with diagrams of sky sights) is available for download here: Amazing Sky Calendar 2018. Be sure to visit Alan Dyer's website here: