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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 (washrooms available) (map)

Next BAS meeting is Dec 4, 2019 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 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. 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 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 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: Autumn 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


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

Nov 6, 2019 BAS meets at 7 pm at Bailey Hall OSSDS. Click for
MAP
This meeting will features a Members’ Night. Members are asked to contact John H. if you have something of astronomical interest to show and tell. Bailey Hall is a comfortable lecture hall and 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. Note that due to the recent labour issues, the school may be closed after hours and an alternate meeting space will be announced.

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.

Nov 11, 2019 Transit of Mercury! 7:36 am to 1:04 pm EDT (See SKY SIGHTS for diagram and WEBLOG for details)


A once-in-a-lifetime transit of the Sun by Mercury occurs on the morning of Monday, Nov 11, Remembrance Day. The tiny disk of Mercury (only 10 arc-seconds across) starts its pass across the Sun at 7:36 am EST locally and continues for 5 hours 28 minutes until 1:04 pm EST when it finally leaves the Sun’s face.


NOTE: the entire event requires proper solar filters on your telescopes and cameras. You cannot see the planet without optical aid since it has such a small silhouette. A pair of filtered 15x70 binoculars will show a small dot but a telescope at medium power with solar filter is recommended. Here is an article that explains ho to safely watch and photograph the transit: S&T Mercury Transit Guide

Mercury is tiny compared to Venus in 2012 which was 6 times larger, but the transits of Mercury are more frequent. They occurred in 2003, 2006 and 2016 so far this century, and we have 9 more to come. But make sure you observe this one in 2019 since the next does not happen until 2032 and that one will be over before sunrise in North America! So will the 2039 transit. North Americans have to wait until May 7, 2049 (30 years!) to see one locally.

Join BAS members at the Fox Observatory (6:30 am weather-permitting) for live views through our various telescopes.


Nov 28/29: Crescent Moon near Jupiter then Saturn
On Thursday, Nov 28, a crescent Moon only 2.5 days old appears 1° 38 min from Venus and a bit father (6°) fromJupiter. Diagram shows the view at 5:40 pm EST looking to the SW with Jupiter about 4° high and Venus about 6° up. On the next night. Saturn and Venus pair up with a separation of only 1° 45 min.

This will be a good opportunity to see the third and fourth brightest planets, Venus, at magnitude -3.9 and Jupiter at magnitude -1.8, next to the second brightest object in the sky, the Moon at magnitude -10! Both nights will be good opportunities to catch these objects in a camera -try a long telephoto lens.


Nov 30, 2019 Dark of the Moon viewing at Fox Observatory. Click for MAP . Public is welcome. Please read weather information in SIDEBAR. When visiting the observatory please park near the Learning Centre and walk to the observatory, being careful along the path as it is often washed out and rutted in places. It is possible to take a vehicle down the laneway but you do so at your own risk. Bring warm clothing, including hats and bug spray. Also note that, if possible, we ask for you to walk to the observatory (red flashlights are preferred, but point all lights downwards please). Last Dark of the Moon viewing at the Fox Observatory is Dec 28, 2109.

NB: 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 info above for contact phone numbers and emails 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.

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

Dec 4, 2019 BAS meets at 7 pm at Bailey Hall OSSDS. Click for MAP
This meeting is our last event of the year and will be a Xmas social rather than a regular meeting. Members are asked to bring goodies to share. 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.

Dec 14 Geminids and Dec 22 Ursid Meteors spoiled by full moon (Dec 12) or low numbers
The Dec 14 Geminid meteors (120 per hour under ideal condition) are spoiled by a full Moon 2 nights prior, but if it is clear go out for a look anyway, you may see a few bright fireballs. One website described them as “bold, white and quick”. Link here: EarthSky Geminids The Dec 22 Ursid shower is sparse at only 10 per hour but it has the advantage of only a thin (13%) Moon in the sky rising at 4 am or so. Look to the bowl of the Little Dipper for the Ursid radiant.

Dec 28: Crescent Moon near Venus (targets for Dark of Moon viewing at Fox)
On Saturday, Dec 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 magnitude -3.99, and the 2.6-day-old crescent Moon should be easy to spot. Venus sits 2° 30 min above the Moon tonight and the two form a nice photogenic grouping. You may also be able to spot Saturn much lower on the horizon -only 2° up at 5:40 pm EST and shining more feebly than Venus, only magnitude 0.6.


Dec 28, 2019 Dark of the Moon viewing at Fox Observatory. Click for MAP . Public is welcome. Please read weather information in SIDEBAR. When visiting the observatory please park near the Learning Centre and walk to the observatory, being careful along the path as it is often washed out and rutted in places. It is possible to take a vehicle down the laneway but you do so at your own risk. Bring warm clothing, including hats and mitts. Also note that, if possible, we ask for you to walk to the observatory (red flashlights are preferred, but point all lights downwards please). This is the last Dark of the Moon viewing at the Fox Observatory for 2109.

NB: 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 info above for contact phone numbers and emails 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.