Last update Dec 1, 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 for maps to: ES Fox Observatory or Tom Thomson Art Gallery meeting locations.

NEW: Supermoon Viewing 6:30 pm Dec 13, Rail Museum Owen Sound.

Last BAS public viewing at Fox Obs. is Sat. Dec 3, 2016 (weather permitting).

Last BAS meeting of 2016 is 7 pm Wed Dec 7 at Tom Thomson Art Gallery
This is our Christmas Social, please bring goodies to share.
See COMING EVENTS. for more details.

DECEMBER 2016 StarGazerNews now available here: NEWSLETTER


Nov 2016 to Dec 2016 (the short list)
BAS regular meetings are the 1st Wed of the month at 7 pm (no reg. meetings January and February). Check the calendar here: BAS 2016 Events summary for meeting dates and other events like public viewing nights at the Fox Observatory. If you would like to be included in our list for impromptu observing nights contact Brett T or John H. Some of the more interesting sky viewing opportunities are also described graphically in SKY SIGHTS.

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. 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.

NOTE: BAS Meetings and public viewings are open to the public at no charge. BAS viewing at ES Fox Observatory is also generally open to the public (dates in monthly listing below). We welcome out-of-town guests on all of our listed observing nights. Individuals or groups may request private tours on other dates (subject to availability of guides) by contacting John H. at: . There is a fee for private tours.

Our next BAS Wed meeting at the Tom Thomson Art Gallery is Dec 7, 2016 at 7pm. This is our year-end Christmas social so members are asked to please bring goodies to share. [The Christmas meeting is more informal, the only official presentation is a re-cap from the president and a look ahead to 2017]. Meetings usually consist of a short business meeting and include a speaker or presentation on an astronomy topic. More details can be found in COMING EVENTS.

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.


November 2016

Nov  2 Wed Regular Meeting Tom Thomson Art Gallery Topic: TBA
Nov  5 Sat 00:13 South Taurid Meteor Shower: ZHR = 10, look for fireballs.
Nov  6 Sun DST Ends at 2 am this morning.
Nov  7 Mon FQ
Nov 11 Fri 23:29 N. Taurid Meteor Shower: ZHR = 15, may be some fireballs.
Nov 14 Mon FM This one is even more "super" than in Oct being 1352 km closer! -see BASWeblog
Nov 17 Thu 05:47 Leonid Meteor Shower: ZHR = 15
Nov 17 Thu 11:30 Venus nearest to Kaus Borealis (7 min 31 seconds) in daylight. Increases to 17 min by sunset at 4:53 pm.
Nov 21 Mon LQ
Nov 26 Sat Dark of the Moon Viewing at Fox Obs. (BAS members and guests) public welcome. Contact for details and weather cancellation.
Nov 29 Tue NM (Note: thin crescent may be visible before sunrise Nov 28 or after sunset Nov 30)

December 2016

Dec   3 Sat Fox Dark of Moon viewing (BAS members and guests -public welcome) Contact for details and weather cancellation.
Dec   7 Wed Regular Meeting Tom Thomson Art Gallery Topic: Xmas recap/BAS social (members, please bring goodies to share).
Dec   7 Wed FQ
Dec  12 Mon Aldebaran 0.5° S of Moon Occultation 11:00 pm EST Dec 12 to 12:16 am EST, a difficult observation as both disappearance and reappearance are at bright limbs - Moon is 99% illuminated. See SKY EVENTS for more details.
Dec  13 Tue 18:30 (6:30 pm) Supermoon viewing public event at Owen Sound Rail Museum. Volunteers with telescopes requested to let folks have a look at the full moon through telescopes. Backup night Dec 14.
Dec  13 Tue 18:57 Geminid Meteor Shower: ZHR = 120 -a GOOD one except Moon is FM!  
Dec  14 Wed 18:30 (6:30 pm) Supermoon viewing public event at Owen Sound Rail Museum. Backup night.
20 Tue LQ
Dec  21 Wed Winter Solstice 05:45
Dec  22 Thu 03:00 Ursid Meteor Shower: ZHR = 10
Dec  29 Thu NM (Note: thin crescent may be visible before sunrise Dec 28 or after sunset Dec 29. Either one of these can beat the current BAS record of 21 hours)


Naked Eye/Binocular Astronomy Events :

Venus is back as Evening Star -you can't miss it!

Venus now is the prominent Evening Star above the SW horizon after sunset. The image below was taken Nov 18, 2016 and includes Mars at upper left just inside the border of Capricornus. In this image, Venus has just passed Kaus Borealis and is just to the left of the top star of the Teapot with two of the handle stars visible through the hazy clouds. Venus watching will only get better as the winter wears on, and there two planetary appulses to watch for. On January 12, when Venus is only 50% illuminated, it will pass Neptune with only a half degree to spare but seeing both Neptune and the phase of Venus requires a telescope. A month later, on February 2, 2017, there is a close approach of Venus to Mars, -about 5 degrees of separation. After the close approach to Mars, both planets sink into the western sky and by spring of 2017 both Mars and Venus will be lost below the western horizon. The crescent Moon is near Venus and Mars on the first few days of each month Dec, Jan and Feb, making a nice grouping for photographers.

A thorough explanation of the current Venus appearance can be found on Brian Ventrudo's Cosmic Pursuits website here:
Venus viewing Guide 2016-2017

Image by John H. Nov 18, Canon 60Da, f.l. 32 mm, f/4.0, ISO 3200 exposure = 15s.

Supermoon viewing was pretty super:

Image by John H. (St. Mary's Church)

Image above is a composite image taken Nov 14, 2016. Canon 60Da, 1.8 s, ISO 2000, 260 mm focal length. The FM image was 1/500 s at 170 mm. These images were taken looking across the Owen Sound harbour about 7 pm. The Full Moon reached its perigee about 9 am Nov 14 so this image is 10 hours "off". Other BAS imagers got a closer FM to perigee -only 2 hours off -image below.

Image below is Julian D's single image looking west over the harbour and misses the exact point of perigee by only 2 hours or so. Image was with a 200 mm lens on a Sony camera at 1/6 s, ISO 100. You can tell that this was taken at moonset (western sky)because the "Lady on the Moon" is looking up, not leftwards.



Thin Moon Challenge: Can you beat 21 h?

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Image above is a 24-hour young crescent and was taken Mar 16, 2010. Canon 20Da, 0.5 seconds, ISO 400, 400 mm focal length. A 21-hour crescent is not much thinner than this if you are looking to spot one. There is a detailed listing of thin crescents, both before and after NM in the
BAS Weblog which you should see if you are interested in breaking the 21-hour record held by Lorraine R. and Aaron T.


From Our Astrophotographers:
Frank Williams latest submission to the "BAS 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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From the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Image Archives:
A recent meeting of BAS showed images from the CFHT on Mauna Kea. By popular demand, this space will be devoted to showcasing some of these. Have a look at this site for more: CFHT Image Of Month

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Startrails over CFHT (note Polaris altitude = 20° at Mauna Kea)

Star trails and "see-through" dome

Horsehead Nebula

Star-forming globules in Lagoon Nebula M8

Mauna Kea panaroma in winter

M16 Eagle Nebula

Planetary Nebula in M46

Barnard's Galaxy