This site last updated September 19.
The SEPTEMBER 2014 StarGazerNews issue is now available! Click NEWSLETTER tab above.
Our EVENTS list below has been updated to include SEPTEMBER and OCTOBER 2014
Comet information has been updated to include Comet Oukaimeden C2013 V5.
Join us for our NEXT VIEWING SESSION at Fox Sep 27
NEW: Solar Information at the bottom of the HOME page.
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 some heavenly views under one of the last truly dark sky locations in Ontario.
The BOEC was declared a Dark Sky Preserve in Nov. 2012, Canada’s 15th DSP. At the ES Fox Observatory, we have a large reflecting telescope (a 28-inch Webster) and we use it regularly in our public viewing sessions.
CURRENT ASTRONOMY NEWS
ROSETTA UPDATE: SEP 16, 2014
Head of Comet 67/P chosen for Philae landing site
Sept. 16, 2014: The ‘head’ of the bizarre comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko has been selected as the primary landing site for the Rosetta spacecraft’s attached Philae lander, attempting mankind’s first ever landing on a comet in mid-November.
Scientists leading the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission announced the primary landing site at a media briefing today, Sept. 15, at ESA headquarters.(...) Read the rest of Comet’s Head Selected as Landing Site for Rosetta’s Historic Philae Lander (936 words)
Context image showing the location of the primary landing site for Rosetta’s lander Philae. Site J is located on the head of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. An inset showing a close up of the landing site is also shown. The inset image was taken by Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera on 20 August 2014 from a distance of about 67 km. The image scale is 1.2 metres/pixel. The background image was taken on 16 August from a distance of about 100 km. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA
The latest images of the comet taken by Rosetta are available at http://www.nasa.gov/rosetta
Follow the action @ESA_Rosetta.
The comets listed here will all probably stay binocular objects.
Comet Jaques (C/2014E2) is now around magnitude 6 and finally moved far enough from the Sun for viewing. One of the latest images for Comet Jacques is shown below. Finder chart for Comet Jacques is HERE
Comet PanSTARRS (C/2012 K1) will be best in late summer and fall. Finder chart for Comet PanSTARRS is HERE or on our Maps/Charts page. Note that both comets will be morning sky objects in late summer and fall.
Comet PanSTARRS will be rounding the Sun in early August. Later in the month it becomes visible in the early morning hours before sunrise. More info for PanSTARRS can be found in our WEBLOG and here: C PanSTARRS Universe today article.
Comet Oukaimeden (C/2013 V5)
This comet will become visible later in the year and into 2015. Predictions are that it will reach magnitude 5.7 or so around Sep 20, 2014. However the path of this comet keeps it near the Sun and it will be difficult to observe except for a few weeks in the early morning hours in late August and early Sep. Finder chart for Aug 14 to Sep 18 HERE:
For up-to-date information on all the recently discovered comets, check this excellent website: http://www.aerith.net/comet/weekly/current.html .
11 images of Comet Jacques stacked from May 3rd. Credit: Ian Griffin @IanGriffin.
Read more: http://www.universetoday.com/111618/comet-jacques-brightens-how-to-see-it-in-may/#ixzz3630806jj
Comet LINEAR (C/2012 X1) is fading and under magnitude 9 presently. Another comet, visible earlier this year, Comet Lovejoy, (C/2013 R1) has faded to below magnitude 11.
Chart for Comet LINEAR to July 1 and chart for C. Lovejoy to June 24 (if you are interested.)
BAS CALENDAR OF EVENTS
BAS regular meetings are the 1st Wed on the month. Next meeting is at the
GREY ROOTS MUSEUM, Oct 1, 2014.
A quick look summary of all BAS events for 2014 can be found here:
2014 Events Summary
Note there may be minor changes in this list as dates approach. For up-to-date listing, see our 3-month list below or click on the COMING EVENTS page for detailed monthly information.
NOTE: BAS Meetings and Public Viewing 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 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 Hlynialuk, email: email@example.com or Aaron Top, email: firstname.lastname@example.org . There is a fee for private tours.
Events list below is now updated to the end of October 2014.
See COMING EVENTS page for more details about the following events:
EVENTS August 2014 to October 2014
New: Aug 2 (FQ) Moongaze at Inverhuron Pk. Share the Moon, Mars and Saturn with campers after dark (9 pm). BAS members with scopes interested in helping out please contact John H. for details.
Aug 6 Wed BAS meeting at ES Fox Observatory 7 pm Topic: Astronomy Movie Night. Bring a lawn chair.
Aug 8 Fri (FM-2) Public viewing Grey Roots Museum parking lot, 9 pm. Members with scopes appreciated. Contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm if you are unsure about weather.
Aug 10 Sun (FM) ☹ Night of the Full Moon “Grain Moon” ALSO THE "SUPER MOON" -best for 2014!
Aug 12 Tue (FM+2) PERSEIDS viewing at ES Fox Observatory after dark, gibbous Moon rises by 9:30 pm, 90/h. Come dressed for a cool evening and bring bug spray.
New: Aug 16 (LQ) Stargaze at MacGregor Pk. Share the Mars, Saturn and the Milky Way with campers after dark (9 pm). BAS members with scopes interested in helping out please contact John H. for details.
New: Aug 18 Thu (LQ -1) Jupiter and Venus close to Beehive Cluster. Planets about 1/4 degree separation!
Aug 21-24 Starfest 2014 More information at STARFEST 2014 . The best annual star party in North America organized by the North York Astronomical Association
Aug 26 Tue (NM) ☻
Aug 30 Sat (FQ-3) BAS viewing @Fox -the regular NM viewing night at the Fox, viewing Saturn and Mars and objects in Milky Way.
Aug 31 Sun (FQ-2) Occultation of Saturn by Last Crescent Moon: -a daylight event 1:28 pm - 1:55 pm DST (a difficult but not impossible event to observe -Moon is only 6 degrees up in SE).
Sep 3 Wed BAS meeting ES Fox 7 pm Tom Field Spectroscopy Webinar
Sep 5 Fri (FQ+3) Public viewing GR Grey Roots Museum 9 pm (Members with scopes)
Venus 0.7° from Regulus 5 am
Sep 6 Sat (FQ+4) OSFN star tour/talk @ES Fox Note: event has been moved to Oct 4 with backup Oct 18.
Sep 9 Tue (FM) ☹ Night of the Full Moon “Harvest Moon” [third "super-moon" of 2014 but don't call it that..]
Sep 12 Fri (FM+3) Saturn's Moon Rhea occults a background star -rare! 8:38 DST in E. Canada
Sep 17 Wed (LQ) 3rd Anniversary of Fox Opening Happy Birthday Fox Observatory!
Sep 20 Sat (LQ+3) Mercury 0.5° from Spica low in West after sunset
Sep 24 Wed (NM) ☻
Sep 27 Sat (NM+3) BAS viewing @Fox @dark Members and guests welcome.
Sep 28 Sun (NM+4) Moon occults Saturn, Ceres and Vesta all on same day (none visible locally)
OCTOBER -NOTE: Oct 25 Harvest Dinner has been cancelled.
Oct 1 Wed BAS meeting Grey Roots Museum 7 pm Mike Tettenborn on Meteorites & Gadget Night
Oct 4 Sat (FQ+3) OSFN star tour/talk ES Fox 7:00 pm Leader: John H.
(backup date Oct 18 (LQ-2) Note: this event was moved from Sep 6.
Oct 8 Wed (FM) ☺ BAS viewing: Second Lunar Eclipse of 2014 from washroom/pavillion on Lakeshore Blvd at 6th St N. in Sauble Beach. Umbral contact 5:14 am DST Oct 8, total phase from 6:25 am to 7:24 am DST Oct 8. Last Umbral contact at 8:34 am DST. Moon sets 7:37 am DST Oct 8.
Oct 19 Sun (NM) Comet Siding Spring (C/2013A1) closest to Mars -photo op! (from Mars only)
Oct 21 Tue (NM-2) Orionid meteors, 20/h peak at noon Oct 21, Moon only 5% observe Oct 20 & Oct 21 evenings.
Oct 23 Thu (NM) ☻ Partial Solar Eclipse first half only visible from Bruce-Grey, viewing from 6th St N washrooms along Lakeshore Blvd in Sauble Beach followed by viewing at ES Fox @dark. First contact at 5:36 pm DST. Sun sets at 6:26 pm DST. Mid-eclipse is about 13 minutes later but Sun is below our horizon.
[Oct 25 Sat (NM+2) 5th Annual Harv. Din. BOEC Dining Hall starts 5:30 pm Speaker: TBA
This event will not be held this year.]
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.
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 on the graphic to go to the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Centre.