Last update Sep 27, 2016

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The BOEC was declared Canada's 15th Dark Sky Preserve in Nov, 2012. At the ES Fox Observatory, we have a large reflecting telescope (a 28-inch Webster) and a 10-inch SCT on a GOTO mount that we use regularly in our public viewing sessions.

Click here for map to ES Fox Observatory or Tom Thomson Art Gallery meeting location.

Sat. Oct 1 and Oct 29 LAST TWO Dark of the Moon viewing nights at ES FOX Observatory! Public welcome.

Oct 2016 StarGazerNews now available here: NEWSLETTER

Next BAS meeting 7 pm Wed. Oct 5, 2016 at Tom Thomson Art Gallery
Topic: Women in Astronomy. See COMING EVENTS. for more details.


Brett Tatton explains Astrophotography Basics in MEETING RECAP


BAS regular meetings are the 1st Wed of the month except January and February. Check our calendar here: BAS 2016 Events summary for meeting dates and other events including public viewing nights at the Fox Observatory (or elsewhere). If you would like to get on our list for impromptu observing nights contact Brett T or John H .

For an up-to-date listing, see our current monthly listing below or click on the COMING EVENTS page for detailed information.
NOTE: BAS Meetings and Public Viewings are open to the public and there is no charge. BAS viewing at ES Fox Observatory is either open to the public (see dates below) or for members and guests. HOWEVER, we welcome out-of-town guests AT NO CHARGE on all of our listed observing nights.  We will do our best to accommodate you!
Individuals or groups may request private tours on other dates (subject to availability of guides) by contacting John H. email: . There is a fee for private tours.


NOTE: ALL observing events require clear skies. If it is overcast or raining, observing will NOT be possible. If you arrive at the venue and it is overcast or raining, 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.

EVENTS August 2016 to October 2016 (the short list)

Our next BAS Wed meeting (Tom Thomson Art Gallery) is Oct 5 2016. Topic: Women in Astronomy More details can be found in COMING EVENTS. Some of the more interesting sky viewing opportunities are also described graphically in SKY SIGHTS.

BAS summer meetings are now back at the Tom Thomson Art Gallery (lower level) for Oct 5, Nov 2 and Dec 7. Meetings usually consist of a short business meeting and include a speaker or presentation on an astronomy topic.
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.

More details for the events listed below can be found on the COMING EVENTS page. A list of astronomy events for 2016 is available here: Astro Events 2016. Note this list changes from time to time as additional astronomy events are added.
A list of BAS events (meeting dates, public observing sessions, etc.) for 2016 is separately available here:
BAS 2016 Events Summary. This list may also change as events are confirmed, etc.


August 2016

Aug  2 Mon: NM
Aug  4 - 7 Thu - Sun: STARFEST: register at
Aug  10 Wed: FQ
Aug 12 Fri: 07:26 Perseid Meteor Shower: ZHR = 90 More Here: BAS WEBLOG
Aug  13 Sat:  BAS at Inverhuron Provincial Park -public stargazing night.
Aug  18 Thu: FM
Aug  21 Mon: One Year Countdown starts to Solar Eclipse Monday, Aug 21, 2017
Aug  24 Wed:   Mars 1.8° N of Antares; Saturn 4.3° N of Mars, Moon at LQ
Aug  26 Fri: Grey Roots Public viewing (starts at dark) Public Welcome
Aug  27 Sat: 16:53 Venus Jupiter separation 0.1° !!!

September 2016

Sep  1 Thu: NM: Annular Solar Eclipse (mid-Africa, Madagascar and into Indian Ocean) not visible in N.America
Sep  2 Fri: Neptune at Opposition
Sep  3 Sat: Fox Dark of Moon viewing (BAS members and guests -public welcome) Contact for details and weather cancellation.
Sep  7 WedRegular Meeting 7 pm Fox Obs Topic: Beginner’s Astrophotography basics: Brett T.
Sep  9 Fri: FQ
Sep  16 Fri:     FM Penumbral Lunar Eclipse (not visible in N. America and it is a poor penumbral eclipse to boot.) Perigean Full Moon
  17 Sat:     HAPPY 5th ANNIVERSARY to ES Fox Observatory! Join us for cake and coffee around noon.
Sep  22 Thu:    Autumnal Equinox 09:21
Sep  23 Fri:  LQ
Sep  24 Sat: Fox Dark of Moon viewing (BAS members and guests -public welcome) Contact for details and weather cancellation.
Sep  30 Fri:    NM

October 2016
Oct  1 Sat: Fox Dark of Moon viewing (BAS members and guests -public welcome) Contact for details and weather cancellation.
3 Mon Venus just 4° below 2.7 day-old crescent Moon above western horizon
Oct 5 Wed Regular Meeting 7 pm Tom Thomson Art Gallery Speaker Zoe Kessler: Women in Astronomy, Public Welcome
Oct 5 Wed Saturn just 6° below 5 day-old crescent Moon above SW horizon
Oct 8 Sat FQ
Oct  15 Sat Uranus at Opposition
Oct  15 FM (Perigean Full Moon -see BASWeblog)
Oct  19 Wed Aldebaran 0.3° S of Moon Occultation 1:48-2:31 am DST. See SKY EVENTS for more details.
Oct  20 Thu Orionid Meteor Shower: ZHR = 20; LQ Moon right at radiant (bummer!)
Oct  22 Sat LQ
Oct 27 Mon Venus passes through gap between Antares and Saturn (just like Mars did in August)
Oct  29 Sat Fox Dark of Moon viewing (BAS members and guests -public welcome) Contact for details and weather cancellation.
Oct 30 Sun NM


Naked Eye/Binocular Astronomy Events :

Mars above (the rear end of) the Dark Horse!


Mars has been tracking across the SW sky towards the Milky Way for several months now. It passed through the gap between Saturn and Antares Aug 24. The Sep 20 image above shows it well on its way to M8 the Lagoon Nebula just to the right of the spout of the teapot. Look for Mars to be located just below the Lagoon on Sep 27/28. Image above was taken Sep 20 from Owen Sound by John. H. More images like this are found in September's SGN now available and in the Oct issue coming soon. Click on NEWSLETTER tab.

Aurora erupt in August and September
Brett Tatton got a nice image of an aurora over the Southampton range light on one of 3 or 4 nights of displays in early August and again in the last week of the month into the Labour Day weekend. Many BAS members sent in reports of displays seen. One came in even from Algonguin Park.

Aug 31: Chantry Island Star Trails

Your webmeister wangled an overnight stay on Chantry Island to photograph star trails behind the famous lighthouse. Capt. Willetts of the Peerless and crew got me there in spite of brisk winds and whitecaps and the image below indicates the mission was successful.


Mars continues (relatively) big and (still) bright:
Mars reached opposition on May 22 and is the brightest and largest in our sky in the last 2 years. At best, it will be almost as bright as Jupiter at
mag -2.0 (presently, Sep 4, it is -0.23), Mars is found near Antares and Saturn in Scorpius. It is largest and brightest at opposition, when Mars is opposite the Sun in our sky and is highest at midnight, but even in September, Mars is still high enough above the SW horizon to view. In the diagram below note how large the planet appears -the disk has now shriunk to about half its size at the end of September and it is noticeably gibbous. Mars stays above the horizon into 2017 since its eastward motion is greater than the westward rotation of the sky. Up to the end of October or so, with a telescope you can make out features like the polar ice caps but steady air is required to see much more. There is excellent and detailed information at the ALPO site here: 2016 Mars Apparition
Also Brian Ventrudo, has a very detailed Mars observing guide at this site:
Mars Observing Guide

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Saturn in Scorpius:
The famous Ringed Planet is also in prime viewing territory less than 20° east of Mars. Make sure you take a look at it with your telescope. The rings are tilted as fully as they can be to our line of sight and just like Jupiter, Saturn has a retinue of moons that can be seen around the planet. Five can be seen with medium sized telescopes and range in brightness from 8.4 to 11.8; Titan is 8.4, Rhea is 9.7, Dione is 10.4, Tethys is 10.3, and Enceladus is 11.8. Watch Mars slip between Saturn and Antares on Aug 24/25.
Sky and Telescope’s informative viewing guide to Saturn is here:
Saturn Viewing Guide


From Our Astrophotographers:
Frank Williams latest submission to the "Hall of Astrophotographic Fame" is an image of M17, or the Swan Nebula in Sagittarius.
He writes:
"worked on Swan Nebula M17 during Starfest week from my little observatory in Allenford, and with cloudy weather here got to processing it. This has Luminance 1 hour, red filter 90 minutes, blue and green filters 75 min [using a] 140 mm TEC apochromatic [refractor] sbig STL 11000 camera cooled to -20c (As cold as I could get it running peltier cooler flat out). Processed in Pixinsight slight crop (to remove misaligned frames)". All I can add is "WOW!"



The countdown to the Great Aug 21 2017 Solar Eclipse continues:

Mar 29, 2006 Solar Eclipse Montage from Antalya Turkey by J.Hlynialuk

If you are looking for a detailed map of the ground track of the Aug 21, 2017 eclipse here it is:
Note: this is a big file -be patient.

More info is available on the
2017 SOL ECLIPSE tab.

ES Fox Observatory Clear Sky Chart

Note: the chart below may not show the current cloud patterns.Click anywhere on the chart for the current display. If chart is still out of date try clearing your browser cache.


Auroral Displays

Auroral displays in our area are declining as we have passed solar maximum. There have been periods of "blank Sun" where sunspots have been totally absent for a time. However, at far northern and southern latitudes near the auroral ovals, sometimes magnetic disturbances from the sun produce auroras even without visible sunspots. So if the auroral oval in the graphic below is showing an intense RED, aurora borealis may be visible from your location. The graphic is updated regularly with time indicated at the top in UT so subtract 5 h to get local EST, or 4 h for DST. (Use the appropriate factor for other time zones). For more information click here: NOAA home website.

Current Auroral Oval not available right now

Click on image below for the
Current Planetary Index Chart or Latest Solar Heliospheric Observatory Images:

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