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 Oct 4 at the Tom Thomson Art Gallery at 7 pm. Topic: Movie night

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.

BAS member impromptu observing also occurs at the Fox Observatory. To be put on the notification list email Brett T. at or John H. at
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 29)


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 Sep 7 and includes events to the end of Oct 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.

The next BAS meeting occurs on Oct 4, 2017 at 7 pm at the Tom Thomson Art Gallery.


Selected Astronomical and BAS Club events -Aug to Oct 2017:

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

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

Sep 06 Wed 19:00 BAS meets at Learning Centre classroom at BOEC . Solar Eclipse Recap -members images and stories.

Sep 15-17
Fri-Sun Inverhuron Dark Sky Weekend (contact John H. to register) free camping in return for public viewing on any clear nights during weekend.

Sep 16 Sat BAS Dark of Moon viewing (occurs at Inverhuron Park this weekend or individually at Fox for BAS member access only)

Sep 17
Sun 19:56 Venus 0.5°N of Moon: Venus is joined by Mars and Mercury in the morning sky for a nice photo opportunity. The thin crescent Moon is just under 7 degrees from Venus and Venus is only 3 degrees from Regulus. (Remember that star was right beside the Sun on Aug 21.) Below Regulus is the close pair Mars and Mercury only half a degree apart. Very nice! An even thinner crescent is between Regulus and the Mars/Mercury group the next night.

October 2017

Oct 04 Wed 19:00 BAS regular meeting 7 pm at Tom Thomson Art Gallery lower level. Tonight is a movie night, but there are still lots of stories to tell about the solar eclipse in August, so be prepared for BAS members to reminisce.

Oct 05 Thu 19:00 Venus 0.2° N of Mars.
This exceptionally close pass of Venus and Mars starts with the two planets 16 minutes of arc apart when they rise above the eastern horizon around 5:23 am EDT, and the two continue to get closer with a minimum separation of 12.5 minutes at 1:41 pm in daylight. Venus will be visible but Mars will be harder to see in daylight (though not impossible) since it is only 1.8 magnitude.

Oct 09 Mon 14:05 Aldebaran 0.6°S of Moon -occultation with Aldebaran and Moon below our horizon and not visible.

Oct 15 Sun 06:54 Regulus 0.2°S of Moon. Two months ago the Moon was occulting the Sun (solar eclipse Aug 21!) and Regulus was in the vicinity. This time our Moon occults Regulus from 5:48 am EDT to 6:30 am with the Sun in the next constellation over, Virgo, and below the horizon at event time, so it is still good and dark. Regulus is a blue star and an interesting contrast to the other star often occulted, Aldebaran, which has a reddish tinge.

Oct 17 Tue 06:04 Mars 1.8°S of Moon
17 Tue 20:21 Venus 2.0°S of Moon

Only the first event in the morning is visible in our morning sky. For the rest of the day, the Moon closes in on Venus but the group sets below the horizon so we do not see the close pass at 8 pm. Venus is over 6° below Mars and Moon in the dawn sky and all three are in Virgo.

Oct 19 Thu 13:00 Uranus at Opposition The second last planet in our current solar system reaches opposition tonight meaning that it rises at sunset and sets at sunrise. It is well placed all night long for viewing, so do go out and have a look. Magnitude is 5.68 and at higher power you can see a tiny disk at 3.7 seconds of arc across.

Oct 21 Sat 07:00 Orionid Meteor Shower
BAS Dark of Moon viewing night. As for good viewing conditions, if clouds stay away, this is a good meteor shower. Though numbers are not high, 20 shooting stars should be visible per hour once Orion gets higher in the sky. The Moon is a tiny 3% illuminated so there is no moonlight to hide the fainter shower meteors. The radiant is in the feet of Gemini at Orion’s club and is well up in the East by midnight or so. As for all viewing nights this time of year, come dressed for cold and dewy nights. A nice reclining lawn chair is perfect for meteor watching and bring a damp-proof cover to stay warm under.

Oct 24 Tue 07:54 Saturn 3.3°S of Moon. This is a nice view with Saturn and a 5 day-old crescent Moon in the Milky Way between Scorpius and Sagittarius.

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: (It can also be found at the bottom of the "about Alan" page on that website.)