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

BAS Meeting Locations: (not weather dependant)
Note: No BAS meetings 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 or ES Fox Observatory (map)

Next BAS meeting is March 4, 2020 at Bailey Hall OSSDS. (map)

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 specific event 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 will be provided) 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 in sidebar and 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. Brighter objects like the Moon, planets, and star clusters are usually visible even during FM nights using our GOTO telescope. The complete list of Astronomy Events for 2020 is available here: ASTRONOMY EVENTS 2020 There is a separate list of BAS CLUB events for 2020 here : [coming soon]

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 welcome to attend with parents or guardians on public nights. Contact us by phone (519-379-7709) or email stargazerjohn@rogers.com 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 BAS members but out-of—town guests are welcome. Please email John H. at stargazerjohn@rogers.com or Brett T. at bretttatton@gmail.com for details.


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WEATHER INFORMATION
ALL observing events require mostly clear skies. If it is overcast or raining, the observing event will NOT be possible. If you arrive at the venue on an overcast or rainy night, 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.


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.
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Selected Astronomical and BAS Club events: Winter 2020:



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. Contact Brett T. at bretttatton@gmail.com or John H. at stargazerjohn@rogers.com for possible impromptu observing.

A complete list of ASTRONOMY EVENTS FOR 2020 is available here: ASTRONOMY EVENTS 2020 Note that this list is amended periodically to correct or add events.

Alan Dyer’s astronomical calendar for 2019 (with diagrams of sky sights) is available for download here: Amazing Sky Calendar 2019. Be sure to visit Alan Dyer's website here: www.amazingsky.com


January Note: some of these are on the SKY SIGHTS page as well.

March 4, 2020 BAS meets at 7 pm at Bailey Hall OSSDS. Click for MAP
This meeting is the first event of the year and will be a regular meeting. Bailey Hall can be accessed from the main entrance at the front (south-east side) of the high school. Only the doors from the SE parking lot are unlocked after hours for security reasons. There is wheel-chair ramp access to the room. Recent labour issues have not closed the school but check the home page for an alternate meeting space if needed or a cancellation due to bad weather.

NB: Please park in the main (teacher’s lot) at the front of the school and enter by the southeast doors (off 9th St. W. parking lot). There is no access from the rear parking lot. Please access the school from the southeast door only.

Jan 4 Quadrantids The Quadrantid meteor shower is one of the lesser observed showers because it occurs in the cold month of January, but for once the Moon is not in the way during the peak. Furthermore this shower peak of 50 to 100 meteors per hour (ideally) is of rather short duration and is well placed for N. American observers. The 4-hr peak occurs around 3 am Jan 4 and by that time the radiant is about 30° high and the Moon has set 2 hours previously. Predictions are for 25 per hour as a minimum and be on the lookout for more than a few fireballs. The International Meteor Organization 2020 meteor calendar is here: IMO Meteors 2020

The location of the shower radiant is in the diagram found on the
HOME page.

Jan 10: Penumbral Lunar Eclipse (visible in eastern hemisphere only). During a penumbral eclipse, the Full Moon passes through the almost invisible outer shadow (penumbra) cast by the Earth into space. It may be detectable by sensitive light measuring devices but not by the naked eye. Photos taken before and at greatest eclipse may show some minor differences, but clear skies are needed. This eclipse is of “academic interest” only and can (may?) be observable from places in the east like India. Note: all four of the lunar eclipses this year are penumbral (Jan 10, Jun 5, Jul 5, and Nov 30) and even then only the last two can be seen from North America.


Jan 20: Last Crescent Moon near Antares and Mars Look in the dawn sky to see a nice collection of planets and the thin last crescent. The 4-day-before-new Moon is 4 degrees above Mars (magn. 1.44) and 7 degrees above Antares (magn. 1.0). This is a good chance to compare the “redness” of Mars the “Red Planet” and the red giant star Antares whose name translates into “rival of (as in rivalling) Mars”. The ancients saw a distinct colour similarity in the two, hence the name picked for Antares. Mars is less than 10° from Antares from Jan 5 to Feb 1.

Jan 25: Moon and Mercury 2.2° apart
A very thin crescent Moon appears beside Mercury above the sunset point in the west this evening. This is a difficult observation but the 1-day-old crescent should be visible in twilight. Look to its right (binos help) for the -1 magnitude planet Mercury. The pair set about 40 minutes after the Sun so the sky will still relatively bright, but give it a try. Not often a thin young Moon appears next to one of the inner planets, especially when it is this bright.

Jan 27: Venus and Neptune a “whisker” apart.
In the western sky tonight, Venus makes a quick pass at Neptune missing it by just under 4 minutes of arc at 2:50 pm or so. By the time the pair become more or less visible when the Sun sets around 5:30 pm, the two are 8 minutes apart and separating by about 3 minutes per hour. When they set at 8:49 pm, they are 17 minutes apart. The 3-day old first crescent Moon is 7° below the pair on Jan 27, and an equal distance above on the 28th.

Feb 28: Crescent Moon near Venus and Uranus
On Friday, Feb 28, the second and third brightest objects in our sky appear close to each other above the western horizon after sunset. Even in bright twilight, Venus shining at it brightest, magnitude -4.22, and the 5-day-old crescent Moon should be easy to spot. The Moon sits 15° above Venus tonight and the two straddle the planet Uranus, shining at magnitude 5.84 about 5° below the Moon along a line to Venus. Uranus won’t likely be seen naked eye tonight because of the bright moon nearby, but binos should show it.



MORE 2020 Events [Coming Soon]