BAS RASC BOEC topbar3..Screen shot 2015-03-31 at 4.29.54 PM
FB icon.............Last site update July 29/15 PLUTO DAY+ 15...........

BAS Mission Statement

The Bluewater Astronomical Society is a group of amateur astronomers that love stargazing and sharing the hobby with others. We promote astronomy education in the Bluewater counties of Bruce and Grey by holding star gazing sessions, lectures and astronomy events for anyone interested in learning more about the night sky. We have a large, modern facility, the ES Fox Observatory on the grounds of the Bluewater Outdoor Education Centre of the Bluewater Education Foundation. There we show, to young and old alike, views of the Moon, planets, star clusters, galaxies and nebulae. Join us at our public stargazing sessions (see below or click on COMING EVENTS for dates to have some heavenly views at one of the last truly dark sky locations in Ontario.

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 for map to ES Fox Observatory or Grey Roots Musuem

New Horizons: mission accomplished at PLUTO!!

Latest Pluto information and images are available in this 12-page PLUTO SPECIAL which commemorates the successful mission to the last solar system outpost, the planet Pluto. Get your copy by clicking the image below. The BAS WEBLOG also has PLUTO NEWS.

Pluto Spec cvr

Pluto news, images, reports, etc can now be found in the BAS WEBLOG.

August SGN now available. Click on NEWSLETTER tab above.

Zoe's Blog Coming Soon!

Don't miss the Perseid Meteor Shower that runs from July 13 to August 26, peaking Aug 13.

Venus and Jupiter are sinking fast in the west. Last chance to see them.

Next BAS meeting Aug 5/15 @ 7pm ES Fox Obs. See COMING EVENTS.

Looking for a Canon camera lens? or have some item to sell? See our STUFF FOR SALE page.


Visual Astronomy Happening Now:

Don't miss the Perseid Meteor shower peaking August 13!
The best meteor shower of the year is due in the second week of August. The Moon is new and does not brighten the sky at all, and with the longer nights of late summer, there will be many hours to watch for shooting stars to appear in the dark skies. The radiant is already clear of the horizon by dark and reaches an elevation of 50° by dawn. Look for peak numbers of 90 per hour around 2 am Aug 13. And don't ignore clear nights for a week before or after the Aug 13 peak. Any bright shooting star that you can trace back to Perseus is likely an early or late Perseid.

Screen shot 2015-07-27 at 11.34.32 PM
Point of origin of Perseid Meteor Shower is labelled in red above.
Graphics c/o Starry Night Education


From Our Astrophotographers:

Steve Goetz records an aurora from "out of the blue".

This aurora was captured by Kincardine News reporter, Steve Goetz in the wee hours of July 23, 2015. We had only minimal warning of this so a general alert was not issued, but Steve was in the vicinity of Kintail between Kincardine and Goderich and noticed somethign going on. It was a brief but nice display and a reporter was there to capture it!

Steve's image appeared on the front page of the Sun Times a few days later. Image taken with a Fuji X-TI at 1600 ISO, 15 sec. 35 mm lens. Image ©Steve Goetz


Paul Zelichowski's M106 Spiral Galaxy:
Paul Zelichowski has sent in a very nice image for our galaxy collection with his photo of M106. Also known as NGC 4258, M106 is a spiral galaxy in the constellation Canes Venatici and is located just under the handle of the Big Dipper. It was discovered by Pierre Mechain in 1781. M106 is at a distance of about 22 to 25 million LY away from Earth and is also a Seyfert II galaxy. Due to X-rays and unusual emissions lines detected, it is suspected that part of the galaxy is falling into a supermassive black hole in the centre. Some estimates give 35 million solar masses for the nucleus of this galaxy.
Total exposure through RGB filters and Luminance was 420 minutes or a whopping 7 hours!
Look for an update of this image coming in the Aug issue of StarGazerNews



BAS regular meetings are the 1st Wed on the month except Jan and Feb 2015. Regular BAS meetings are at Grey Roots Museum but the June 3, July 8, August 5 and September 2 meetings are at the Fox Observatory. Check our calendar for public viewing nights at the Fox or elsewhere and contact Brett or John for impromptu observing nights: Brett T or John H if you would like to get on the alert list.

Next meeting will be July 8, 2015 at the ES Fox Observatory.
A summary of ALL REMAINING BAS events for 2015 is available here: 2015 Events Summary

Note there may be minor changes in this list as dates approach. For up-to-date listing, see our short list below or click on the COMING EVENTS page for detailed information.
NOTE: BAS Meetings and Public Viewings at Grey Roots Museum 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: or Aaron T., email: There is a fee for private tours.


Events list below is now updated to the end of September 2015.

NOTE: 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 and it is overcast or raining, there may not be any BAS members there. See COMING EVENTS for more details and instructions. A contact phone number is provided there if you are unsure about whether to attend due to weather.

See COMING EVENTS page for more details than provided below:

EVENTS July 2015 to September 2015 (the short list)

BAS meetings continue to Dec 2015. More details about the following events can be found in COMING EVENTS. Some of the more interesting sky events are also described graphically in SKY SIGHTS.

BAS meetings have moved to the ES Fox Observatory at 7 pm. (Oct 7 meeting is back at Grey Roots). Regular BAS meetings happen the first Wednesday of the month from March to December.
Meetings usually consist of a short business meeting and include a speaker or presentation on an astronomy topic. See the meeting dates below for more details.
Note that this year only, the July BAS meeting will be the second Wednesday in July, i.e. July 8 and will occur at the ES Fox Observatory. Please park at the main lot by the Learning Centre (parking near the Fox is reserved for disability access and equipment dropoff). The June 3, July 8, August 5 and September 2 BAS regular meetings will be at the Fox Observatory since our regular meeting room at GR is being used for a summer display. We are back at the Grey Roots Museum for the Oct 7 meeting.

More details for the events listed here can be found on the COMING EVENTS page. A full list of the remaining events for 2015 is provided here: 2015 Events Summary Note this list changes from time to time as dates are confirmed, etc.


(note the regular BAS Wed. meeting is July 8, not July 1 which is Canada Day)
Jul 1 Wed FM Venus and Jupiter conjunction. Less than a half a degree apart. Watch from June 29 to July 2.
Jul 8 Wed LQ BAS regular Wed. meeting at ES Fox Observatory (7 pm) Topic: KW Webinar on Eyepieces -a live interactive event. NOTE: This webinar has been postponed to Aug 5.
Jul 10 Fri Summer Stargazing public viewing #2 at ES Fox Observatory. Short star talk 8:30 pm followed by viewing planets (Jupiter, Venus, Saturn) clusters and galaxies in the summer sky. See Coming Events for details on parking, etc.
Jul 11 Sat BAS viewing@Fox Dark of the Moon member observing night, BAS members and guests.
Jul 14 Tue New Horizons flies past Pluto (taking images and science data all the while!)
Jul 15 Wed NM

Jul 17-19 Fri-Sun Dark Sky Weekend venue has been moved to Whispering Pines and will not be at Bruce Peninsula National Park. Program consists of a star talk (if weather does not co-operate) and general public viewing after dark on Saturday night. Viewing is weather dependant. The Webster will be present. Contact Greg Rodgers at if you are a BAS member interested in one of the limited number of free campsites on a first-come basis.

Jul 18 Sat Venus about 1° from Crescent Moon. Jupiter about 6° away. A very pretty grouping in the western sky.
Jul 23 Thu FQ
Jul 24 Fri Grey Roots Public viewing #1: Viewing the Moon, planets, clusters and galaxies in the summer sky. Event starts at dusk (9 pm) with Moon, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn

Jul 25 Sat The "Whispering Pines" event has been moved to July 17-19. See above.

Jul 29 δ-Aquariid meteors peak at 11 am DST Wed. possible 20/h in daylight so observe the night before or after. The Moon near Full (95%) so not the best circumstances for meteor watching.
Jul 31 Fri FM



Aug 5 Wed BAS meeting at ES Fox Observatory Topic: K-W Webinar on eyepieces followed by Members/Gadget Night. Contact John H. for a time slot if you have something to share.
Aug 6 Thu LQ
Aug 7 Fri Public viewing at Grey Roots Museum parking lot, 9 pm. Members with scopes appreciated.
Aug 8 Sat BAS viewing night at the Fox Observatory. Our regular Dark of the Moon viewing night.
Aug 13 Thu Perseids peak 2 am DST Aug 13: the BEST meteor shower for 2015 peaks only a day before the New Moon.
Aug 13-16 STARFEST 2015 More information at STARFEST 2015 . Registration is now open.
Aug 14 Fri NM
Aug 21 Fri Summer Stargazing public viewing #3 at the ES Fox Observatory. Views of the crescent Moon, Saturn and the clusters and nebulae of the Milky Way. Event starts after sunset (8:30 pm or so).
Aug 22 Sat FQ Moongaze at Inverhuron Pk after dark (9 pm). Here is a MAP of the observing location. Contact John H. if you can help out.
Aug 22 Sat FQ More Moongazing at Tobermory Butterfly Festival with BAS members and scopes. More details from Environment Biosphere Conservancy here: or contact Brett T. or Zoe K. at or .Venue TBA
Aug 29 Sat FM




Sep 2 Wed BAS meeting at ES Fox Observatory Topic: Starfest recap
Neptune at opposition

Sep 5 Sat LQ and Aldebaran Occultation Disappearance (bright limb) at 12:07 am (just after midnight Sep 4/5), Reappearance dark limb 12:39 am Sep 5, Moon LQ and rises from 1.75° to 7° above eastern horizon during occultation.
Sep 12 Sat BAS viewing@Fox
Sep 13 Sun NM and Partial Solar Eclipse Only visible from Antarctica and S. Africa, S. Pacific
Sep 13 Sun Paisley Fall Fair Solar display (daytime)
Sep 20 Sun Meaford Public viewing (talk & solar viewing)
Sep 21 Mon FQ
Sep 27 Sun FM and Total Lunar Eclipse Best for the year with totality starting at 10:11 pm DST Sep 27 and continuing to 11:23 pm. Moon is 35° high at mid-eclipse and climbing. A prime-time (Sunday night) astronomical event! Public Viewing at Fox Observatory

More Details for the events listed above can be found on the COMING EVENTS page.

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

If the auroral oval is showing an intense RED, then aurora borealis may be visible from your location. Note that the auroral oval graphic is updated regularly. Time is indicated at the top. Subtract 5 h from UT to get local EST, subtract 4 h for DST or use the appropriate factor for your time zone. For more information click here: NOAA home website.

Current Auroral Oval not available right now

Visit the Canadian Space Weather Prediction Centre here for predictions for your region:

Spaceweather Canada logo

Solar-Terrestrial Data (c/o Paul L. Herrman)

Click here for current visual sunspot image