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
ES Fox Observatory (ONLY on specific dates TBA in 2017) (washrooms are available) (map)
Tom Thomson Art Gallery Meeting Room Lower Level STARTING MAR 1, 2017 (and first Wed of the Month afterward)

The physical address of the TTAG is 841 1st Ave W. Owen Sound.

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. Only BAS monthly 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 Feb 16 and includes events to the end of Aptil 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.

Astronomical and BAS viewing events February, March and April 2017:

The first BAS meeting OF 2017 occurs on March 1, 2017 at 7 pm at the Ton Thomson Art Galery. 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: coming soon.


February 2017

Feb 03 Fri 23:19 FQ

Feb 10 Fri 19:33 FM

Feb 10 Fri 19:43 Penumbral Lunar Eclipse. This penumbral eclipse is very close to having the umbral shadow of Earth touch the Moon’s disk. Officially the magnitude is 0.988 and some umbral darkening should be visible. It has been noted that on other lunar eclipse occasions, the umbral shadow does become visible as a darkening before the official contact time. Photographs should show this easily. Time for the maximum effect according the RASC Observer’s Handbook is 7:43 pm Feb 10. See SKY SIGHTS for more, including a graphic.

Feb 11 Sat 14:44 Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková This periodic comet has returned after 5 years to break the comet drought! It may be visible briefly in late December above the SW horizon around magnitude 8 or so and then it rounds the Sun to appear as a morning comet in January and February. On Feb 11, 2017, it is closest to Earth and should be brightest perhaps up to magnitude 7, well within binocular range. Details are on the HOME page as well as in VIS.COMETS.

Feb 17 Fri 02:00 Venus greatest illuminated extent. Venus is its brightest tonight at -4.63 magnitude. The phase is shrinking but the apparent size of Venus is growing (40 arc-sec) and the two balance out to give a maximum brightness.
See SKY SIGHTS for more, including a graphic.

Feb 18 Sat 14:33 LQ

Feb 25 Sat 06:48 Thin last crescent Moon (28.5 hours old, elevation 1.3°) Not a record by any stretch but still a nice view of a thin crescent with Earthshine on the dark side.

Feb 26 Sun 09:53 Annular Solar Eclipse; mag=0.992 None of this eclipse is visible in N. America, it is a S. hemisphere event.

Feb 26 Sun 09:58 NM

Feb 26 Sun 19:10 Mars 0.6° N of Uranus. Mars and Uranus make a close pass this evening but the separation is somewhat larger than those that have happened up to now. The minimum separation is 34 min 7 sec. at 7:10 pm.

Feb 27 Mon 18:39 Thin first crescent Moon (34 hours old, elevation 8.0°) Not a record by any stretch but still a nice view of a thin crescent with Earthshine on the dark side.

Note: Next leap year is 2020.

March 2017

Mar 01 Wed 19:00 BAS meets at Thomson Art Gallery 7 pm
AGM -last chance to nominate for elections, and Messier Marathon preview c/o Brett Tatton. Messier Marathon is Mar 25 and/or Apr 22.

Mar 01 Wed 19:00 Crescent Moon, Mars and Venus in evening sky -a nice grouping above the western horizon after sunset with a 3.5 day old Moon.

04 Sat 21:38 Aldebaran 0.2°S of Moon (Graze near Teeswater-see John H. if you wish more info or to participate) More here about another Aldebaran graze successfully observed from Bruce County: Aldebaran Graze 1983

05 Sun 06:32 FQ

Mar 12 Sun 02:00 Daylight Saving Time begins (clocks ahead 1 hr)
(times from now to Nov 5 will be quoted in DST which is 4 hours less that UT)

Mar 12 Sun 10:54 FM

Mar 14 Tue Zodiacal light
may be visible above the western horizon for the next two weeks or so. Look west at sunset and wait until twilight is over. The waning Moon does not brighten the sky too much if you view before moonrise (9:45 pm Mar 14).

Mar 20 Mon 06:29 Vernal Equinox The Sun passes over the equator this morning on its northward journey towards June solstice. Roughly equal periods of dark and light.

Mar 20 Mon 11:58 LQ

Mar 25 Sat BAS Dark of Moon viewing night (Messier Marathon attempt) Come and view as many Messier objects as you like or just do some ordinary star gazing on your own or through club scopes.

Mar 27 Mon 22:57 NM

April 2017

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 however 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 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. This is shortly after the peak night for the Lyrid Meteor shower as well. See below.

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 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!

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).