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

BAS Meeting Locations: (not weather dependant)
Note: No BAS meeting 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 (NOTE: Dec 5 meeting only is at New Life Centre 201 4th Av W. MAP) or ES Fox Observatory (2019 dates TBA ) (washrooms available) (map)

The last BAS meeting of 2018 is at 7 pm Dec 5, 2018 at New Life Centre 201 4th Av. W (MAP) We start up again March 6 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 list of Astronomy Events for 2018 is available here: ASTRONOMY EVENTS 2018. There is a separate list of BAS CLUB events for 2018 here: 2018 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 free and welcome to attend with parents or guardians on public nights. Contact us by phone (519-379-7709) or email 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 who must notify the organizer that you are coming. Members wishing to be put on the notification list please email Brett T. at or John H. at

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.

Selected Astronomical and BAS Club events: Nov/Dec 2018:

(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.

A list of ASTRONOMY EVENTS FOR 2018 is available here: ASTRONOMY EVENTS 2018. 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:

November 2018 (Some of these events are described in chart form on: SKY SIGHTS page.)

Nov 04 (Sun) 03:00 Eastern Standard Time starts -set your clocks back one hour before you go to bed.

Nov 05 (Mon) 13:00 S. Taurid Meteor Shower and Nov 12 (Mon) 12:00 N. Taurid Meteor Shower. These two minor showers offer only 10 and 15 meteor trails per hour and occur during a 5% Moon phase (nearly New, rising just before dawn on Nov 5) and 25% Moon (first crescent sets by 9 pm Nov 12) so the sky will be dark for both. Both showers peak in early afternoon so observe the night before or after to get closest to the peak time.

Nov 06 (Tue) 10:00 Mercury at Greatest Eastern Elongation 23.3°. Look for Mercury in the morning sky to reach its farthest point east (left) of the Sun at this time in the western sky. This is not a particularly good viewing opportunity for Mercury as it sets at 6:00 pm EST less than an hour after the Sun does (5:06 pm EST)

Nov 7 (Wed) 19:00 BAS meeting at 7 pm at Bailey Hall room 315 at OSDSS. (map) Members’ Night. BAS members are asked to contact John H. ahead of time to get a 10 or 15 minute slot to talk about their favourite topics or observations. Images are welcome, and any topic is open for discussion. Contact John H. at for more info if interested.

Nov 15 (Thu) 23:16 Mars 1.3° N. of Moon This will be an occultation in other parts of the world but a miss locally with both objects below our horizon at the time of closest approach. The best local view will be Mars above the gibbous Moon a distance of 1°42’ when the pair set just before midnight on Nov 15.

Nov 17 (Sat) 19:00 Leonid Meteor Shower This annual shower of 20 meteors per hour is not rated among the best of the year partly because numbers are few and the Moon is Gibbous most of the night. Furthermore Leo is not above the horizon until midnight or so. However, there is a good window of several dark hours after the Moon sets around 2 am, if you wish to spot meteors from this famous shower. In 2000 and 2001, several thousand per hour were reported during a Leonid Storm. Another one of these is not likely this year, -try again in 2032 or so.

Dec 1 (Sat) 2018 Start to Look for Comet Wirtanen

The week before and after new Moon (Dec 7) is a good time to try for Comet Wirtanen in a dark sky free of interference from moonlight. In the first week of Dec, Wirtanen rises by the time it is dark and stands on the meridian around midnight well before the Moon rises. On Dec 1, Comet 46P will be in Eridanus below Cetus above the southern horizon and will be visible until the Moon comes up in the wee hours of the morning. The Moon is absent on Dec 7 and in the second week of Dec, sets before the comet gets into dark sky. By Dec 14 or so, a gibbous Moon is present not far from 46P and for dark skies, you need to wait for it to set. After that, a bright Moon drowns out the comet until after Christmas Day when the comet rises ahead of the last quarter Moon. Then another period of dark sky ensues for another two weeks into the beginning of January 2019.

Dec 5 (Wed) 19:00 BAS meeting at 7 pm at New Life Centre 201 4th Av. W. (Click for MAP) This is a social event, our yearly wrap-up, so bring goodies to share with others, and stories to tell about 2018. The only formal part of the meeting is the slide show of 2018 highlights. We break for the winter and meet again March 6, 2019. Note: impromptu observing nights during winter continue as usual at the Fox Observatory.

Dec 7 (Fri) Mars and Neptune really close. Mars (mag 0.07) and Neptune (7.89) get very close to each other on Dec 7 and are visible until after midnight separated by less than 1/4 degree of arc. At sunset (5:43 pm EST) Mars is 33° high and the separation is 12 min. When Mars sets at 12:52 am Dec 8 the separation doubles to 23 min. Check out SKY SIGHTS for more details.

Dec 8 (Sat) Crescent Moon near Saturn

Saturn is quickly disappearing in the west, but Dec 8 offers an opportunity to spot it near a nice thin crescent Moon. The view should be very pretty in twilight above the western horizon with the 1.5 day old Moon about 4 degrees to the right of the ringed planet. It may be the last chance to see Saturn for some time.

Dec 13/14/15 (Thu/Fri/Sat) 19:00 Gemini Meteor Shower watch at Fox Observatory -weather permitting. Contact John H. at 519-379-7709 or if interested in joining the group.

Dec 21 (Fri) Mercury 0.8° N of Jupiter
Mercury and Jupiter follow Venus into the morning sky and are closest together this morning with a separation of less than a degree. Venus is well up in the SE and is 2.5 hours farther along the ecliptic when Mercury and Jupiter clear the horizon, only a hour ahead of sunrise. This is a nice view in the dawn sky.

Dec 25 (Tue) Christmas Day! Happy Holidays from BAS!

Jan 1, 2019 New Year’s Day. All the best for 2019 from the exec of BAS!