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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 June 5, 2019 at ES Fox Observatory. (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: May/June 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



May 2019 (Some of these are also described in SKY SIGHTS)

May 1, 2019 BAS meets at 7 pm in Bailey Hall at OSDSS. Click for MAP
This meeting features Phil Visser presentation: “Hooked on Time”, a talk held over from an earlier meeting that was cancelled because of snow. Regular topics will also be covered including the May 10 pass of the Moon through the Beehive Cluster.

May 2, 2019 5:00 am Venus, Crescent Moon, Mercury above eastern horizon. While the Crescent Moon and Venus are bright enough, Mercury will be a tougher object to view during this twilight observation. Venus rises first above the eastern horizon at 5:20 am DST, then the Moon at about 5:35 am DST with Mercury a few minutes later but 10° farther north on the horizon. The Sun, another 10° farther north clears the horizon at 6:12 am DST but has been brightening the sky all the while. Diagram in SKY SIGHTS shows the group at 5:45 am DST with the Moon a degree and a half above the horizon.

May 4, 2019 Dark of the Moon viewing at Fox Observatory. Click for MAP . Public is welcome. Please read weather information in SIDEBAR.
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 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.

May 6, 2019 04:00 Eta-Aquariid meteor shower. This moderately good shower (60 per hour max) comes at new Moon time so the sky will be dark. The best time to view will be late on Sunday night and into Monday morning with peak about 2 hours before dawn on Monday May 6. If you are in the southern hemisphere, expect up to 60 shooting stars per hour, and a lesser number in the north -for our latitude perhaps 20 or 30 per hour. Chart is found on the SKY SIGHTS. page.

May 10, 2019 Moon passes through Beehive Cluster From about 10 pm to after midnight, the 6.5 day old crescent Moon passes the southern part of the Beehive Cluster which is about two Moon diameters in size. Several 7th magnitude stars will be occulted by the dark edge of the Moon, and since the Moon is airless, the disappearance is very sudden at the instant that the point source encounters the opaque edge of the Moon. These are interesting to watch and the option of the Moon eastwards through the cluster will be obvious over the 3 hours or so. More information, including star charts and event times is provided in the WEBLOG.

CANCELLED DUE TO CLOUDS: May 11, 2019 International Astronomy Day -viewing at Fox Observatory after dark. Public is welcome. See Note above for May 4 Dark of the Moon viewing. Tonight is a First Quarter Moon night and that is on the viewing agenda. BAS members will be manning the telescopes for visitors and showing off some of their favourite sky sights including clusters, galaxies, nebulae, and a planet or two. Come dressed for a cool night. Flashlights are OK, but please do not use them while at the observatory and point them downwards on your walk to and from the parking lot.

May 17-20, 2019 Mars Encounters M35 in Gemini
Another open cluster, M35 in Gemini is also close to the ecliptic and regularly occulted by the Moon and planets. Mars comes close to M35 every to years or so and this time, will pass a short distance from the centre. Minimum separation is on May 19 with Mars about 1/3 of a degree (20 minutes) from the centre of M35. M35 is about the size of the Moon so Mars will appear to skim the outskirts. We get to see it about half a degree below the cluster on May 18 and above it (but a bit closer) on May 19. The Full Moon will brighten the sky a bit, but it is worth getting out for a look. See SKY SIGHTS for a star map.

May 22, 2019 Saturn and Moon come close to each other. In the S. Pacific this will be a spectacular occultation of Saturn by the Moon but for our location on the planet, we get a miss. It is a daylight event with about 5° separation between the Moon and Saturn just as they set in the west around 8:50 am DST in daylight. Not an easy event to observe, and a trip to the S. Pacific is probably not in the cards for you.

June 2019 (Some of these are also described in SKY SIGHTS)

June 1 BAS speakers and telescopes at Huron Fringe Birding Festival An annual event at MacGregor Pk takes place this Saturday evening when BAS members take birders on a tour of the heavens. Note that this event is open to registrants of the birding festival and not to the general public. The HFBF site if you wish to register is here: HF Birding 2019

June 5 BAS meets at 7 pm at the Fox Observatory. Click for
MAP
This meeting features John H. speaking about the tribulations of a famous observatory in Wisconsin, Yerkes Observatory. Has it closed? or is it still open? Will it be converted to condos? (NO to that one!)
Please note that the meeting site is not heated and warm dress is recommended, especially if you wish to do some stargazing afterwards (weather permitting). When visiting the observatory please park near the Learning Centre and walk to the observatory, being careful along the path as it is washed out in many places. It is possible to take a vehicle down the laneway but again it can be tricky due to ruts in the laneway.

June 8 Dark of the Moon viewing at the Fox Observatory. Click for MAP. Public is welcome. Please read weather information in SIDEBAR.
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 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.

June 10 Jupiter at Opposition The “King Planet”, Jupiter is now more easily visible in the late evening and rises in the east around the time of sunset. By June 10, Jupiter is rising in the east at sunset and in the skly all night long. Jupiter viewing season has begun, and not far behind is Saturn, rising only about 2 hours later. The disk of Jupiter is the largest of the planets except for the times when Venus gets closest to Earth (early in 2019 and again in Jan 2020). At opposition this time, Jove’s disc is a whopping 46 minutes of arc across while Venus on the opposite side of the solar system from us is a tiny 10 second disc (only at its best does it beat Jupiter with a 50 minute diameter). Jupiter features cloud bands and a Red Spot top look for as well as a constantly changing display of 4 moons circling the planet changing positions form night to night (and even after only a few hours of watching). Jupiter shines at -2.6 magnitude, outdone only by Venus, the Moon and Sun, of course.

June 17 to 19 Mars and Mercury Really close above western horizon
There is a close pass (appulse) of Mars and Mercury on June 18 in the evening sky after the light from sunset has gone. The closest separation between the two is 18’ 34” just as the pair set on June 18 around 10:45 pm so there is a good hour of dark sky ahead of that. Compare this separation to the Moon’s width of 31 minutes of arc. A medium power eyepiece will show both nicely in the same field of view. The disc is a tiny 3.7 arc-seconds across (compared to 24” last year). All you will see is that it has a slightly reddish tint. Mercury, is not huge but still twice the size of Mars, at 7.4”. At higher power, you may notice that Mercury is “half-lit” like a FQ Moon. Even an hour after sunset, the pair are low, only 5 degrees above the horizon. Clear skies are necessary! See SKY SIGHTS for more.

June 21 Summer Solstice Celebration at Keppel Henge. Click for More Info. Public is welcome. Come join BAS and local tai-chi practitioners as they celebrate the start of summer at a classic stone monolith. The Sun reaches its highest point at 1:24 pm DST and that is when the shadow of the pointer crosses the summer solstice stone. Bring a lunch and have a picnic and enjoy the show which will include views of the solar surface with a variety of solar telescopes brought by members of the Bluewater Astronomical Society.