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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 (2019 dates TBA ) (washrooms available) (map)

Next BAS meeting is March 6, 2019 at Bailey Hall, OSDSS. (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 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 complete list of Astronomy Events for 2019 is available here: ASTRONOMY EVENTS 2019. There is a separate list of BAS CLUB events for 2019 here : 2019 BAS CLUB EVENTS (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 current members -please email Brett T. at bretttatton@gmail.com or John H. at stargazerjohn@rogers.com. for details.


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WEATHER INFORMATION
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.


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: Jan/Feb 2019:


(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. 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 2019 is available here: ASTRONOMY EVENTS 2019. 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 2019 (Some of these events are described in chart form on SKY SIGHTS page.)

Jan 1 to 4, 2019 Tue to Fri. Look east well before sunup these mornings to see a thin crescent Moon slide down the ecliptic towards the horizon and pass Venus, Jupiter and Mercury along the way.The crescent Moon appears Jan 1 first near Venus (4.5° separation), then on Jan 3 Jupiter (3.5° separation), then Mercury (3° separation) on Jan 4. See SKY SIGHTS for more.

Jan 3, 2019 Quadrantid Meteors (120/h, NM) The Quadrantid meteor shower occurs under ideal conditions this year with respect to moonlight, but not, of course with respect to temperatures! The Moon is a thin 3% and rises well after the peak of the shower Thursday night Jan 3 at 9 pm. (Peak time is 2:00 UT Jan 4 or Jan 3 at 9 pm). Look for the meteors to originate from the head of Bootes where the now-defunct constellation Quadrans Muralis (the wall quadrant as made by Tycho Brahe) used to be. Remember to bundle up!

Jan 20/21, 2019 TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE! The best lunar eclipse for the year and not again until 2021. This eclipse is in prime time for N. America and will be visible from the ES Fox Observatory in its entirety. We will be set up for viewing around 9 pm or so. As the penumbral contacts (P1 and P4) will not be visible, the eclipse starts at U1 (10:34 pm) and ends at U4 (1:51 am Jan 21). Middle of the eclipse is 12:12 am Jan 21. Totality is from 11:41 pm Jan 20 to 12:43 am Jan 21 a total of 62 minutes. As in past eclipses, the umbral darkening should be visible several minutes before the official time of 10:34 pm Jan 20. Contact John H. at 519-379-7709 or stargazerjohn@ogers.com if you are interested in joining the group to view from the Fox Observatory.

Here are the official times from Fred Espenak’s website
www.mreclipse.com :

P1 = 9:36 pm EST Jan 20 Penumbral eclipse starts (not visible)
U1 = 10:34 pm EST 1st contact (look for shadow upper right)
U2 = 11:41 am EST Jan 21 Totality starts (entire Moon covered!)
U3 = 12:43 am EST Totality ends (bright sliver starts at upper left of Moon)
U4 = 1:51 am EST 3rd contact (partial ends eclipse essentially over)
P4 = 2:48 am EST Penumbral eclipse ends -not visible. Moon

Imaging the eclipse is interesting and this one will be well placed in our sky for wide angle images showing the entire eclipse in one shot. Hints on imaging can be found here:
www.mreclipse.com/LEphoto/LEphoto.html

Jan 30 to Feb 2, 2019 Crescent Moon near Jupiter, Venus, Saturn Look for a repeat of the crescent Moon near three planets in the dawn sky and this time Saturn replaces Mercury (which is transferring over into the evening sky). Jan 30 sees the Moon 6.5° from Jupiter, Venus is 2° left of the Moon on Jan 31, then on Feb 2, Saturn is 3° above the Moon, now only a 2-day old crescent. Diagram from Starry Night below shows the 4 day-old crescent Moon nearest to Venus Jan 31, 2019, (2°) at 6:45 am EST. NOTE: The Moon moves noticeably in an evening and it actually gets closer to Venus as the evening progresses. By moonset, the separation will be about 0.7° or about 40 minutes of arc. Moon and Venus are in daylight from 7:43 am until moonset at 1:58 pm or so in the west. Both objects should be visible, Venus at -4.5 and Moon at -10 probably even to the naked eye. Give it a go!

February 2019 (Some of these events are described in chart form on SKY SIGHTS page.)

Jan 30 (Wed) to Feb 2 (Sat), 2019 Crescent Moon near Jupiter, Venus, Saturn
Look for another nice (changing) group of planetary bodies in the morning sky. The crescent Moon appears near three planets in the dawn sky and this time Saturn replaces Mercury (which is transferring over into the evening sky). Jan 30 sees the Moon 6.5° from Jupiter, Venus is 2° left of the Moon on Jan 31, then on Feb 2, Saturn is 3° above the Moon, now only a 2-day old crescent. A really nice collection of planets for you early morning risers!

Feb 12 (Tue) Mars Makes a Close Approach to Uranus (No jokes please!)
Mars is high in the southwestern sky all winter long and on Feb 12 when it passes Uranus, Mars is a whopping 57° above the SW horizon. It is almost unrecognizeable as a planet since it is so high up but that is the fault of the very high ecliptic in the sky in northern hemisphere winters. By 7 pm on Feb 12 when it is good and dark, Mars and Uranus are still 45° above the SW horizon so there will be no viewing interference from turbulence on the horizon. On Feb 12 both planets will fit into a 1° circle as shown in the diagram from Starry Night on the SKY SIGHTS page. Mars moves noticeably in the 4 or 5 hours between dark and Mars sets at 11:30 or so, so watch for its motion with respect to background stars.

Feb 18 (Mon) Mercury Reappears with Neptune, Uranus and Mars in Western Evening Skies
Mercury has been travelling unseen behind the Sun for the last few weeks and finally gets far enough away to be visible as an Evening Star above the western horizon. Look for it to climb higher and higher as February progresses. Its pass of Neptune will not be easily seen on Feb 18 as indicated in the diagram here since it occurs low in twilit skies and Neptune is a faint 8th magnitude, but watch as Mercury pulls away from the horizon and climbs towards Mars and Uranus. By Feb 28, Mercury is 10 degrees higher and near the Circlet of Pisces before it slows down (GEE is Feb 27 at 18°E) and starts back towards the Sun again.

Feb 28
(Thu) Mercury Reaches Greatest Eastern Elongation (18°E of Sun)
Mercury moves the most quickly of all the planets across the sky and flips back and forth from evening to morning sky on a 5 or 6 week schedule. For example, On Feb 28, Mercury is at its farthest west of the Sun (Evening Star) also known as it Greatest Elongation East (GEE), and by Apr 11, only about 6 weeks later, it is at Greatest Western Elongation (GEW). By Jun 23, Mercury is back again in the evening sky at its farthest point east of the Sun, again. For now, the end of Feb is the best time to look for the planet which will be bright, only outshone by Sirius in the winter sky! Too bad it is so near the even brighter star in the sky, Sol.