BAS RASC BOEC topbar3..Screen shot 2015-03-31 at 4.29.54 PM
FB icon.............Last update Nov 29, 2015...........

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


Fireball seen over Fox Observatory Nov 14. Magnitude -8.4 ! HOLY COW!

BAS meets Dec 2, 2015 at Grey Roots Mus.; BAS FOX viewing Dec 12 (Geminid meteors )

See Members' VIDEOS here: VIDEOS ;
Zoe's NOVEMBER Blog here: ZOE's BLOG;

DECEMBER StarGazerNews now available here: NEWSLETTER

Looking for a 12-inch GOTO Dob? or have some item to sell? See our STUFF FOR SALE page.

Visual Astronomy Happening Now:

HOLY COW! Fireball over Fox Observatory! The heavens continue to surprise and amaze!
We had a fiery guest drop in from the sky at our Nov 14 Fox observing night. A fireball that brightened to magnitude -8.4 was seen by two of us and recorded on camera by one lucky photographer. And the Fox meteor camera (part of UWO's Meteor Network) as well as a similar camera at Starbase 6 (Paul Z.) recorded it too.


The fireball was probably a N. Taurid meteor which are active right now. It even left a faint trail like many of the Perseids. There is a faint pre-trail of about 4° (see image below) and a break in the trail preceded by a bright flash (the -8.4 burst) so the total trail length was about 26°. Peter Brown of the UWO Meteor Group kindly supplied the data that his system recorded which included altitudes (entering at 26.8 km/s at height of 100 km with burnout at 63 km). If there had been meteorites, they would have landed in Lake Huron as the complete trail was over water anyway. Images here were taken with a Canon 60Da and 10 mm Sigma lens at f/2.8, ISO 3200, exp = 30 s


Latest info from Peter Brown is that the object was only a few kg, about the size of a baseball and probably burned up totally, i.e. converted into micro-meteorite dust which will be part of the 100 tonnes of space debris that falls on our heads every day! Reports were also posted by observers on the American Meteor Soc. website. This fireball was seen as far south as West Virginia, also from Cleveland, OH and from a couple of locations in Michigan. Check out the videos from the Fox camera here: Fox Fireball and the Starbase 6 camera here: Kincardine Fireball. These were kindly provided by Peter even after a major computer crash at UWO.

Planets on parade ALMOST OVER: Image below taken by John H. Nov 22 with Jupiter at the top, Mars near the star Zaniah in Virgo and Venus at bottom. As you can see, the cloudy winter weather has set in, -this was a brief clearing in the sky that was noticed as I glanced out my bathroom window... Canon 60Da, 15 mm f/3.5, ISO 3200, 4.0 s exposure at 5:36 am EST. See SKY SIGHTS for more.

Image by John H. Nov. 22, 2015

Venus, Jupiter and Mars are presently starting to separate in the morning sky. November 7 was the last nice grouping of a trio of objects (Mars, Venus, last crescent Moon) and Julian Delf recorded the event for us below from Annan. From now on, no more than two planets will be near the Moon at one time and the "Gang of Three" are separating in the sky. (Mercury is lost in the Sun's glare and will become an evening star in December). The groupings in October and November were nice while they lasted.

Image by Julian D. Sony SLT camera, 1.5 s exp. ISO 200, foc.len. 200 mm f/2.8. Nov 7 at 5:17 am EST.


From Our Astrophotograhers:

Frank Williams sends in this lovely wide angle composition of galaxy NGC 6946 (Fireworks Galaxy) and open cluster NGC 6938. This is a total 4 hour exposure that was taken through his 5-inch TEC refractor. He writes: "I managed to add 3 hours this week to the 1 hour I took on the Starfest weekend. Slightly cropped as my apo is not very flat field. The scope was thrashing about in the wind.... so I lost a few sub frames to  the wind!  The dome was moving about too, although it couldn’t come off, the wind was moving it, and it doesn’t have brakes on it’s rollers! But I had to try as clear nights are getting rarer this time of year".



Paul Zelichowski continues to amaze us with his astro images! The latest is this multi-channel shot of the Rosette Nebula in Monoceros. Paul is now imaging using several filters including Hydrogen-alpha, Oxygen and Sulfur. This shot was a total 9.5 hour total exposure involving 1h15 min through H-α, 2h20 min through O3 and 2h20 min through S2 and 3 hours of RGB data (1h each colour). So this is a hybrid shot which uses both narrowband filters and the regular wideband colour filters. The telescope used was a 12" Hyperbolic Newtonian Astrograph f/4.27 and SBIG STL11000M CCD camera w/Baader filters. Image taken at Starbase Six which Paul refers to now as the "Kinhuron Imaging Complex Kincardine One" or KICK-1 !



BAS regular meetings are the 1st Wed of the month in 2015 except Jan and Feb (due to generally poor driving conditions) and occur either at Grey Roots Museum or at the Fox Observatory. Check our calendar for meeting dates and other events including public viewing nights at the Fox Observatory (or elsewhere). If you would like to get on the alert list for impromptu observing nights contact Brett or John : Brett T or John H .

Next meeting will be December 2, 2015 at the Grey Roots Museum.
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: . There is a fee for private tours.


The events list below is now updated to the end of December 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 November 2015 to December 2015 (the short list)

BAS first Wed of the month 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 are now back at Grey Roots. Next meeting is Dec 2, our 2015 wrap-up Christmas meeting. 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.
For meetings or viewing at 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). We are 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.



Nov 3 Tue LQ and Mars and Venus conjunction in morning sky less than 1 degree apart
Nov 4 Wed BAS meeting at Grey Roots Museum Topic: Members night/Gadget Night
Nov 7 Sat Venus, Mars and Last Crescent Moon in nice 2° triangle below Jupiter in am
Nov 11 Wed NM Remembrance Day
Nov 14 Sat BAS viewing@Fox Regular Dark-of-the-Moon viewing night.
Nov 19 Thu FQ
Nov 25 Wed FM
Nov 26 Thu Aldebaran Occultation Disappearance at 5:38 am EST, Reappearance at 6:28 am EST
Moon is Full, elevation of Moon from 22° to 14°.


Dec 2 Wed BAS meeting at Grey Roots Museum Topic: Christmas wrap-up and recap of 2015
Dec 3 Thu LQ
Dec 7 Tue Daytime Occultation of Venus Disappearance on bright limb: 12:28 pm EST, duration 65 min. Reappearance at 1:32 pm EST. Moon is 3 days before New.
Dec 7 Tue Comet Catalina US10 near Venus in morning sky. Venus - comet separation 4.5°, Crescent Moon 2° from Venus. Comet brightness predicted to be about magnitude 5 as it climbs towards Arcturus. Closest on Jan 1, 2016. Happy New Year!
Dec 11 Fri NM
Dec 12 Sat BAS viewing@Fox. Possibly a Dec 13 evening meteor watch as well. To be confirmed.
Dec 14 Tue Geminid meteors peak at 120/h during daylight (1 pm) but Dec 13 and 15 have only thin crescent Moons brightening the evening sky so both nights should be good for meteor watching. Last Fox Observing event for 2015.
Dec 18 Fri FQ
Dec 25 Fri FM Happy Holidays!

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

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

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