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)

ES Fox Observatory (ONLY on these dates in 2017: Jun 7, Jul 5, Aug 2, Sep 6) (washrooms are available) (map)

The next meeting of BAS is Aug 2 at the Fox Observatory at 7 pm.

BAS 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 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.

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 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 June 20 and includes events to the end of August 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 or John H. at 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.

Selected Astronomical and BAS Club viewing events -July to September 2017:

The next BAS meeting occurs on Sep 6, 2017 at 7 pm at the ES Fox Observatory.

Impromptu observing continues at the Fox Observatory on a small group basis. To be put on the notification list email Brett T. at or John H. at 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 Aug 12)


July 2017

Jul 04 Tue 20:21 Venus 6.5° S of Pleiades A nice collection of astronomical objects in the morning sky. Venus sits between M45 and the Hyades and slips eastward between the Pleiades (M45) and through one arm of the Hyades cluster over 2 weeks or so. It is exactly lined up with Aldebaran on July 11, 4° from Aldebaran and 9.5° from M45. A nice dawn grouping. See SKY SIGHTS for Jul 4.

Jul 05 Wed 19:00 BAS meets at the Fox Obs. Frank W. leads us in a lunar imaging workshop so bring your cameras and cell phones and we will see what can be done to record a gibbous moon in the sky.

Jul 13 Thu 14:03 Venus 3.1°N of Aldebaran. This is the closest Venus gets to Aldebaran in its motion eastward between the Pleiades and the Hyades. See Jul 4 above.

Jul 14-16 Fri/Sat/Sun Bruce Peninsula National Park Dark Sky Weekend 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. Groupsite 1 is far enough away from the viewing site that vehicles will be necessary to transport your equipment. The groupsite 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 visitors get free admission this year!

Jul 20 Thu 07:13 Venus 2.7°N of Moon The last crescent Moon is also moving through the Hyades towards Venus and on Jul 19, the 4-day-before-new Moon is 4° west of Aldebaran. Around 5 am the next morning Jul 20, it is a more slender crescent and about 6° east of the star but closer to Venus, only 3.5° away. There is an even thinner crescent (1.2 day before new) to look for on July 22 and although not a record thin moon, it will be a challenge to see if you can spot and photograph it.

Jul 20 to 23 Starfest Weekend
The annual amateur astronomers' favourite gathering (at least among the top 10 anyway) is on once again. This year Mr. Eclipse, himself, Fred Espenak will give the after dinner talk Saturday on what else, the Aug 21 eclipse. You will not want to miss this one. Pre-register before June 16 Register STARFEST to get a small break on the fee.

Jul 25
Tue Crescent Moon near Regulus and Mercury. A 2.8 days old crescent Moon is left and above the close pair of Regulus and Mercury tonight after sunset. The star and planet are only about a degree apart with the Moon about 8° to their east. Mercury reaches greatest elongation from the Sun just 5 days later. The Moon actually occults Regulus today but this event happens below our horizon.

Jul 29 Sat Delta-Aquarid Meteor Shower A minor shower with only 20 meteors per hour, and the moon is 35%. Aquarius is rising in the east after sunset about the time that the Moon is setting, so the rest of the night will be dark.
There may well be an impromptu observing session at the Fox Observatory, if the weather is good. Contact Brett T or John H. if interested.

Jul 30 Sun Mercury at Greatest Elongation: 27.2°E The planet Mercury is farthest from the Sun tonight and exhibits a half-lit disk like the FQ Moon.

August 2017

Aug 02 Wed 19:00 BAS meets at Fox Observatory Topic: Starfest Recap -share the highlights with attendees. Stargazing afterwards weather permitting.

Aug 07 Mon Partial Lunar Eclipse; mag=0.246 (vis. in Eastern hemisphere only). There is always a lunar eclipse that follows or proceeds a solar eclipse and this lunar eclipse is associated with the Great "American" Solar Eclipse two weeks hence. Unfortunately, this lunar eclipse is only partial and not visible in North America. Enough said.

Aug 11
Fri 19:00 Chantry Island Chambettes visit Fox Observatory 8 pm (leader: John H.). As a fund-raising activity, BOEC and BAS are offering the Chambettes an overnight stay and activities including a Fox Observatory tour and evening stargazing sessions. This is also a good night for meteor watching. See next entry.

Aug 12 Sat 15:00 Peak time (3 pm) of Perseid Meteor Shower (90 per hour, moon 75%). The Moon does affect this year's Perseid meteor shower after midnight or so as a third quarter moon rises in the same part of the sky where the Perseids appear. But the brightest meteors will show up. The Perseids are worth observing even in moonlight, because you can expect to see more than a few fireballs light up the skies. Check our website home page for last minute information about weather with regard to meteor watching at the Fox Observatory which will start after dark. Note: the 1500 hours above is the time of the peak of the shower (3 pm during daylight) -we need to wait until dark to be able to see shooting stars about 9 pm or later.

Aug 15 Tue Owen Sound Cub Scouts visit Fox Observatory (guide: John H.) -a private tour for this small group.

Aug 18 Fri BAS Solar Eclipse Trip departs. A large group of BAS members signed up for this major expedition and members are on their way to this major astronomical event, hoping for good weather around noon Aug 21. Fingers crossed!

19 Sat Venus 2.2°N of Moon Venus appears near a nice thin crescent Moon this morning. The phase of the Moon has been slimming down gradually and the grad finale is when the Moon phase is new and it passes in front of the Sun on Aug 21. If you are not on the road to Grand Island NE, this sight will be a small consolation for not seeing the total eclipse, (but it's something).

Aug 21 Mon 13:26 Total Solar Eclipse; Observing from Grand Is. NE.
The Big Event!

Aug 27 Sun 19:00 (7 pm) Forecaster Phil Chadwick talks about Tom Thomson at TTAG. An expert on Tom Thomson examines his paintings for meteorological insight that the painter included in many of his canvases. Phil Chadwick is also a painter with a website here: Phil Chadwick if you are interested in having a look at some of his work.

September 2017 (details are coming soon)

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: (look at the bottom of the "about Alan" page).