Last update Apr 26, 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.

Next BAS meeting May 4, 2016 at Tom Thomson Art Gallery; Topic: Beginner's Forum
See COMING EVENTS. for more details.

Location map here: Tom Thomson Art Gallery

MERCURY TRANSIT May 9 from 7:12 am to 2:42 pm DST. Viewing at Fox all day.

Mercury Transit information here: Cosmic Pursuits -Mercury May 9 c/o Brian Ventrudo

MAY 2016 StarGazerNews is now available. Click on NEWSLETTER to download.

See Members' VIDEOS here: VIDEOS ;

2016 Astronomy Events now available here: Astro Events 2016.

BAS Club Events list WITH UPDATED LOCATIONS available here: BAS 2016 Events Summary

Celestron Advanced AVX mount STILL AVAILABLE! See our STUFF FOR SALE page for other bargains.

BOEC/Pelee Island wines available again! Order form here: Pelee Wines order

Send in orders and payment by APRIL 30, 2016, please, for end of May delivery.

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Visual Astronomy Events Happening Right Now:

May 9: Mercury Transit 7:12 am to 2:42 pm DST


On May 9, 2016, the silhouette of Mercury passes across the face of the Sun from 7:12 am to 2:42 pm DST. This is not as rare as a Venus Transit, but well worth observing! Public viewing starts at the Fox Observatory at 7 am Monday morning! Plans are to use the Hydrogen-alpha solar telescope to project an image onto the big screen. There will also be other telescopes with proper solar filters for visual light viewing. This event can not be visible through binoculars unless they are very high power and properly filtered as well. Members are asked to please park near the observatory to leave room for guests in the main parking lot. Elementary students on program at the BOEC may also be in attendance to view the event.

If you missed the Venus transits in 2004 and 2012, here is your chance to see Mercury do so, the only other planet besides Venus that can. After this Mercury transit May 9, the next Mercury transit occurs in Nov 2019 and then we have a long, long pause with none until 2032! There is an excellent summary of the event, what to expect, telescopes to use, and precautions here:
Mercury Transit Info Cosmic Pursuits c/o Brian Ventrudo:


Jupiter Watching Season!
Since Jupiter watching is now upon us, it is time for you to bone up on the King of Planets.

Brian Ventrudo’s informative article is the place to start:

At opposition on March 8, Jupiter rises in the east at sunset and sets by the time the Sun re-appears in the dawn sky. There is no excuse for not having a look at it and its contingent of Moons. There are 6 double shadow transits visible locally in March, -note especially the dates March 22 and 23
when two double transits occur in less than 48 hours. More here: SKY SIGHTS

Here is a table of double transit times for events which are visible locally:
Double Transits

Here is a link to times of transit of the Great Red Spot:
Red Spot Tansits


From Our Astrophotographers:

Spring Brings Clear Skies!

Skies have finally started to clear up in our area and there have been several reports of successful viewings of the winter Milky Way as well as other planets in the morning sky (Mars and Saturn). A comet is reported to be a binocular object in Ophiuchus in April as well.

The three brightest stars in the image below are Saturn and Mars just above Antares in the early morning sky as they appeared on March 19, 2016 at 4:36 am. The summer Milky Way with the dark horse is visible at left and so is the glow of M8, the Lagoon Nebula and the Sagittarius Star Cloud above and to the left of it.

Image by John H. with 15 mm zoom lens at f/3.5 on Canon 60 Da, exposure of 25 seconds, @ 3200 ISO.

Image below is a shot of the Orion Nebula taken at prime focus of a Celestron 9.25 Edge HD with a Canon 60Da.

Image is a single shot of 30 seconds at ISO 2500, foc. length = 2350 mm, f/10, taken on Feb 23, 2016. This is the full frame of about 1/3 degree. Some enhancement was done in Photoshop to bring out faint detail. The photographer (JH) recalls his jaw dropping when this showed up on the view screen after such a short exposure!


Frank Williams has captured a lovely wide angle view of two popular galaxies at this time of year. M81 (Bode's GAlaxy on right) and M82 (Cigar Galaxy on left) are riding high overhead in Ursa Major right now. This is a total 3 hour exposure that was taken through his 5-inch TEC refractor. Very nice. Frank also provided a narrow angle view of M81 below (4 hour total exposure).


M81 close up
Pasted Graphic



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 .

Next BAS meeting will be April 6, 2016 at the Grey Roots Museum. That is our Annual Astronomy Trivia Contest Night.
A summary of BAS i.e. club sponsored events for 2016 is NOW available here: BAS 2016 Events summary

Note that Apr 6 is our last meeting at Grey Roots Museum. As of May 4, our new venue is the Tom Thomson Art Gallery (lower level). 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 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 March 2016 to May 2016 (the short list)

Our next BAS Wed meeting is Apr 6, 2016. This is our annual astronomy trivia night. More details can be found in COMING EVENTS. Some of the more interesting sky viewing opportunities are also described graphically in SKY SIGHTS.

As of May 4 BAS meetings move to the Tom Thomson Art Gallery (lower level). Only our Sep 7 meeting this year is at the Fox Observatory. Meetings usually consist of a short business meeting and include a speaker or presentation on an astronomy topic. See the three month listing of events below for more details.
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 here 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 NOW available here:
BAS 2016 Events Summary. This list similarly may change as events are confirmed, etc.


MARCH 2016

Mar 1 Tue LQ
Mar  2 Wed First Regular BAS meeting tonight at Grey Roots Museum -Annual General Meeting and Greg Hollinger shows pictures of his visit to some Chilean Observatories. Mike T. has acquired some Vesta meteorites from a fall Sep 2 2015 in Turkey and will have them on display.
Mar 5  Sat Fox Dark of Moon Viewing night Messier Marathon #1 (Backup night Apr 9)
Mar  8 Tue Jupiter at Opposition
Total Solar Eclipse (Indonesia and S. Pacific)
Mar  13 Sun DST begins
Mar   15 Tue FQ 
Mar 19 Sat Vernal Equinox 
Mar 23 Wed Penumbral Lunar Eclipse. (Not easily visible locally.) 
Mar  31 Thu LQ

APRIL 2016

Apr 6 Wed Regular BAS meeting tonight at Grey Roots Museum -Trivia Night!
Venus 0.7° S of Moon

Apr 7 Thu NM
Apr 9 Sat Fox Dark of Moon Viewing night Messier Marathon #2 (BAS Members and Guests)
Apr 10 Sun Aldebaran 0.4° S of Moon Occultation 6:37 pm- 7:43 pm DST (day time event)
Apr 13 Wed FQ
Apr 16 Sat Regulus 2.7° N of Moon
Apr 17 Sun Jupiter 2.4° N of Moon
Apr 18 Mon Mercury Greatest Elongation East 19.9° (look above western horizon)
Apr 21 Thu Spica 5.6° S of Moon
Apr 22 Fri FM
  Lyrid Meteor Shower: ZHR = 20, Full Moon interferes
Apr 25 Mon Saturn 3.7° S of Moon
Apr 27 Wed Mars 4.9° N of Antares
Apr 28 Thu Mercury 6.5° S of Pleiades
Apr 29 Fri LQ

MAY 2016

May 4 Wed Regular Meeting at Tom Thomson Art Gallery (not Grey Roots) Beginner’s Forum Public Welcome
May 4 Wed Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower: ZHR = 60; radiant rises 3 am or so May 5
May  6 Fri NM
May 7 Sat Fox Dark of Moon Viewing night (BAS Members and Guests)
May 8 Sun Aldebaran 0.5° S of Moon (miss for Bruce Grey, Moon below horizon)
May  9 Mon Transit of Mercury! 7:12 am to 2:42 pm DST. Public Viewing starts at ES Fox 7 am!
May   13 Fri FQ
May  14 Sat Regulus 2.5° N of Moon
May  15 Sun Jupiter 2.2° N of Moon
May   18 Wed Spica 5.7° S of Moon
May  21 Sat FM
May  22 Sun Mars at Opposition (mag -2.0); Saturn 3.5° S of Moon
May   29 Sun LQ


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

BAS has already started planning for the August 21, 2017 Solar Eclipse. Stay tuned.

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 coming soon...

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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