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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

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: March/April 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



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

Feb 27 to March 2, 2019 Crescent Moon near Jupiter, Venus, Saturn A continuation of the passes of the Moon past the morning planets occurs from Feb 27 to March 2, -about 4 mornings are needed to pass the line up of Jupiter, Saturn and Venus. Each time the crescent is near Saturn, an occultation occurs, -unfortunately none of these are visible from our part of the world. The closest the two get is about 0.5° in daylight on March 1 when they are setting in the west around 1:30 pm EST but this is a daylight observation and requires a Goto scope or careful monitoring of the Moon’s position. At the start of the interval on Feb 27, separation between Jupiter and the Moon is almost 2°, on March 1, Saturn and Moon are about 3° apart and on March 2, Venus and the crescent Moon are 4° apart. Do get out for a look as it is not often that we see the Moon with 3 of the brightest planets in the sky together at one time.

March 6, 2019 BAS meets at 7 pm in Bailey Hall at OSDSS. Click for MAP
This is the first meeting of 2019, program: Messier Marathon hints from Brett T. and announcement of slate of exec nominees for 2019-2021.

March 7, 2019 Crescent Moon near Mercury, Uranus, Mars nearby
The 29-hour waxing crescent Moon passes Mercury in the western sky on March 7 just after sunset. The separation is 3.5° and the Moon and Mercury are about 10 degrees above the horizon at sunset which occurs about 30 minutes before the scene depicted in the diagram on the SKY SIGHTS page. Moonset is 8:22 pm DST and Mercury sinks below the horizon about 5 minutes later. Uranus and Mars are on the scene as well with Uranus setting at 11 pm or so and Mars 1.5 hours later.

March 9, 2019 Dark of the Moon viewing at Fox Observatory. Click for MAP . Public is welcome. Please read weather information in SIDEBAR.
This is an event to which we welcome the public. Please note that we ask for you to walk to the observatory (red flashlights are preferred, but point all lights downwards please). NOTE: ALL observing events require clear skies. If it is overcast or raining, observing will NOT be possible so if you arrive at the venue under those conditions, there may not be any BAS members there. See COMING EVENTS for more details and instructions including a contact phone number if you are unsure about whether to attend due to weather. When visiting the Fox Observatory, please park at the main lot by the Learning Centre. Parking near the Fox is reserved for disability access and equipment drop-off.

March 29 to Apr 2, 2019 Crescent Moon passes Morning Planets Jupiter, Saturn and Venus (and Neptune this time)
Look to the dawn sky to see the waning crescent Moon passing dawn planets over 4 mornings Mar 28 to Apr 2. The closest approach is to Saturn on March 29 at 3° from the ringed planet. Diagram below shows the sky at 6:42 am DST about 30 minutes before sunrise. There is an interesting grouping coming Apr 2 (down in the left corner of the diagram) with Venus, Mercury and Neptune but it will be a much more difficult view since it will occur closer to the Sun in brighter sky. There is a particularly interesting (and difficult) grouping of Moon, Venus, Mercury and Neptune on Apr 2 just before sunrise.

March 28 to Apr 3, 2019 Mars passes the Pleiades
Watch the 1st magnitude planet slip past the Pleiades M45 over this time. Minimum separation is on Mar 31 when the space between the centre of M45 and Mars is 3° 8 min. Sunset in the west is at 7:49 pm DST and Mars sets below the horizon just after midnight so there is plenty of time to view and take images. Binocular views are best as few eyepieces have a 3 degree FoV. Mars is only magnitude 1.4, which is still brighter than any of the Big Dipper stars. The planet is on the other side of the solar system from us at 300 million km and only a tiny 4.7 seconds of arc across. Try to get several images at the same time on successive nights for an interesting composite.


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

Apr 2 Moon, Venus, Mercury, Neptune group in dawn sky
The very thin crescent (2.5-days before new) meets up with Venus (magn. -4), Mercury (0.8) and Neptune (7.9) in the dawn hours this morning. Separation is around 4° between Venus and Mercury and the Moon is 7.5° from the close pair Mercury-Neptune. These two planets are under half a degree apart that morning and will both fit into a low power eyepiece field of view.

Apr 3, 2019 BAS meets at 7 pm in Bailey Hall at OSDSS. Click for MAP
This is our annual astronomy trivia with fun and prizes for all!

Apr 6, 2019 Dark of the Moon viewing at Fox Observatory. Click for MAP . Public is welcome. Please read weather information in SIDEBAR.
This is an event to which we welcome the public. Please note that we ask for you to walk to the observatory (red flashlights are preferred, but point all lights downwards please). NOTE: ALL observing events require clear skies. If it is overcast or raining, observing will NOT be possible so if you arrive at the venue under those conditions, there may not be any BAS members there. See COMING EVENTS for more details and instructions including a contact phone number if you are unsure about whether to attend due to weather. When visiting the Fox Observatory, please park at the main lot by the Learning Centre. Parking near the Fox is reserved for disability access and equipment drop-off.

Apr 10, 2019: Venus and Neptune VERY close!
After Mercury’s close approach to Neptune on Apr 2/3, Venus makes a pass at the gas giant tonight. Look in the dawn sky for Venus (you can’t miss it -it’s the brightest “star” above the eastern horizon about 6:15 am DST). It will rise about 5:50 am, an hour ahead of the Sun. If the sky is still dark look a quarter degree or so above Venus for a 4th magnitude star Phi Aquarii. If you center your binos or better yet a telescope with a low power eyepiece you will see the field in the second diagram below showing a 1° FoV. Just above Phi Aquarii is the gas giant Neptune, a pale bluish, 8th magnitude dot. Separation between Venus and Neptune at this time is about 21 minutes of arc, the smallest it gets this year.More April Events coming soon…

Apr 16, 2019: Venus and Mercury Appulse!
This morning’s view to the east includes both interior planets (those closer to the Sun than Earth), Venus and Mercury. Venus is magnitude -3.9 and Mercury is a much fainter 0.2 magnitude. The spacing shrinks to a minimum this morning of 4°16’ and occurs most as a result of Mercury’s motion rather than that of Venus. Mercury was at maximum elongation on Apr 11 and Venus has sidled over towards it as the faster-moving Mercury slips back towards the Sun. Both planets are around half illuminated by sunlight and look interesting at higher power in a telescope. Only binos will show both in the same field as few eyepieces have a wide enough FoV.

Apr 23 & 25 Moon near Jupiter and Saturn
The FQ Moon poses near Jupiter on the 23rd (about 1° away) and near Saturn on the 25th (about 3° away). Look for these two planets to rise at 1 am and 3 am respectively on those dates. In addition, the Moon gets closer to each as the morning wears on towards dawn. If you can follow them until they set in the west in daylight, they will be closer -Jupiter around half that separation and Saturn and Moon about 1° apart. Elsewhere on the planet, Saturn is occulted by the Moon on this occasion. The Moon continues to slip towards the Sun (and Venus and Mercury just to the right of it) for the next week or so.