This site was updated April 21, 2014.


Mars viewing is Great RIGHT NOW! Opposition occurred Apr 8 and now Mars is higher in the sky at dark and in steadier air. Check these articles for viewing tips:
Sky News Observing Mars Tips and from One Minute Astronomer: Mars 2014 Viewing
Get your scopes out for a look. Click to download
Mars Map below.
Hint: Don't confuse the Hellas Basin with the Martian South Pole which is tipped away from our view and can't be seen this time.
Mars-map-ALPO_color
Map shows North down


The April 14/15, 2014 Lunar Eclipse locally was totally clouded out due to heavy rain, followed by a return to winter. Most of eastern North America NFLD to Wisconsin was overcast. See Image Gallery at www.spaceweather.com for images taken in clear skies.
The next Lunar Eclipse happens on Oct 8, 2014. Details in the Sep issue of SGN.


LunEcl_Pete_H_0565_400K

The image above was taken by BAS member Pete Harris who has moved to Dominican Republic with his wife Irene to retire. Image was a 1/8 s exposure taken with a Canon Powershot SX240 at 45mm focal length and ISO 1600. The shot was taken at 4:42 DST and shows the Moon just a few minutes after the end of the total phase. The bright star directly below the Moon is Spica. Nice catch, Pete!



National Science Foundation Comet Ison Photo Contest winners have been announced. The image below by Gerald Rhemann, Vienna, Austria, took 2nd place. (It was better than the first place finisher, IMHO)



ISON-Rhemann_686K

Look here: NSF ISON WInners for the complete list.


Two binocular comets for spring and summer viewing:
The current year has only two (new) comets on the list so far and both will probably stay binocular objects: Comet PanSTARRS (C/2012 K1) currently about magnitude 9 and Comet Jaques (C/2014E2). The former will be best in late spring and summer, the latter in the summer and fall. Star chart for Comet PanSTARRS is HERE or in MAPS/CHARTS and Comet Jacques is coming soon. More info for PanSTARRS can be found in our WEBLOG and here: C PanSTARRS Universe today article.
BUT, don't forget that TWO other comets Comet LINEAR (C/2012 X1) and Comet Lovejoy (C/2013 R1) are still hanging in around magnitude 8 or 9 in the early morning.
Chart for
C. Lovejoy to June 24 and chart for Comet LINEAR to July 1


APRIL 2014 issue of SGN is now available. Click NEWSLETTER tab

ASTROPHOTO CONTEST is now CLOSED. Thanks to all of the contributors that submitted entries. Judges are now mulling over the submissions and will be making their decision in the next two weeks. Winners will be contacted by email or phone. Contact stargazer@wightman.ca if you have any questions.



BAS RASC BOEC topbar3
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.

BAS regular 1st Wed of the month meetings start on Mar 5, 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 on all of our observing nights.  Individuals or groups may request special tours by contacting John Hlynialuk, email: stargazer@wightman.ca or Aaron Top, email: aarontop@hotmail.com
We will do our best to accommodate you!


Events list below is now updated to the end of June 2014.

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 officials 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 about the following events:


THREE-MONTH LISTING OF BAS EVENTS April 2014 to June 2014

APRIL 2014

Apr 2 Wed BAS meeting: Grey Roots Museum 7 pm Note, the regular meeting will follow our speaker, Dr. Mary Shouldice, optometrist. Topic “Eyesight and the Aging Astronomer”
Apr 3 Thu (NM+3) Spectacular Graze of 68 Tau (mag 4.3) track runs near Tiverton/Kincardine. Contact John H. if you are interested in observing. Several 4th magnitude stars in the Hyades are occulted tonight as well.
Apr 5 Sat (FQ-2) BAS viewing @Fox ES Fox @dark. Special session for new members/beginners, bring your scopes, get help /viewing tips -see also Apr 15 and Apr 26.
Apr 8 Tue (FQ+1) Mars reaches opposition -magnitude -1.5 visible in sky all night long. Mars viewing is good for a month or so before and after opposition.
Apr 15 Tue (FM) TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE best one for 2014 (see also Oct 8 for details of second lunar eclipse). Official penumbral contact at 12:53 am DST in morning on Apr 15 (Tues am), umbral contact 1:58 am DST Apr 15, total phase from 3:06 am DST to 4:24 am Apr 15. Last umbral contact at 5:33 am DST, and last penumbral contact at 6:37 am DST Apr 15. Moon rises 6:39 pm DST Apr 14, sets 6:46 am DSTApr 15. Moon is 26° high at mid eclipse. Observing from ES Fox or another designated location (possibly Sauble Beach). Note: Spica is less than 2° from the eclipsed Moon -a rare instance of a bright star near the Moon during an eclipse.
Apr 22 Tue (LQ) Lyrid Meteors, 20/h at peak 1 pm. Some may be visible on evening Apr 22. Moon waning 46%. International Earth Day
Apr 26 Sat (NM-3) BAS viewing @Fox @dark. This is the backup date if Apr 5 or Apr 15 is cloudy. Notification to members by email.
Apr 29 Tue (NM) Annular Solar Eclipse (“ring” eclipse) visible in Antarctic only.

MAY 2014

May 3 Sat (NM+4) BAS viewing @Fox ES Fox @dark (backup May 10 Astronomy Day FQ+3)
May 3/4 Sat/Sun ASTROCATS Hamilton Centre RASC hosts astronomy trade show. More at www.astrocats.ca
May 5 to May 11 International Astronomy Week
May 6 Tue (FQ-1) Eta-Aquariid meteors ES Fox@dark, moon first quarter, 60/h, peak 3 am
May 7 Wed (FQ) BAS meeting Grey Roots Museum 7 pm Astronomy Trivia Night
May 9 Fri (FQ+2) Public viewing GR Grey Roots Museum 9 pm (Members with scope, please) backup night May 10 Astronomy Day at the Fox
May 10 Sat (FQ+3) Astronomy Day ES Fox@dark, Moon viewing and Saturn is at opposition (mag = 0)
May 14 Wed (FM) Night of the Full Moon “Planting Moon”
May 15 Thu (FM+1) Venus and Uranus close approach (appulse) about 1.3° apart in dawn sky.
May 24 Sat (NM-4) New Meteor Shower Camelopardalids? Possible LARGE numbers from debris from Comet 209P/LINEAR peaking from 3 to 4 am. RASC Handbook indicates this may be the most intense shower of 2014!
May 25 Sun (NM-3) Venus near Moon (1.5° separation) in morning sky before sunrise.
May 26 Mon (NM-2) Huron Fringe Birders talk/viewing @ MacGregor Pk, 9 pm or so. Leader: John H. members with scopes requested after dark (note: this event is not at the Fox Obs.
May 28 Wed (NM) ☻
May 30 Fri (NM+2) Moon, Mercury close approach (8°) in West after sunset. Jupiter above.
May 31 Sat (NM +3) BAS viewing @Fox ES Fox @dark (optional viewing)

JUNE
Jun 3 Tue (FQ-2) Triple Shadow Transit on Jupiter during daylight hours. A GOTO scope might do it. Look for shadows of Callisto, Europa and Ganymede from 2:08 pm to 3:40 pm DST in N.America. Good luck.

Jun 4 Wed BAS meeting at 7 pm at Fox Observatory not at the Grey Roots Museum. Webinar from K-W Telescopes. Topic TBA

Jun 6 Fri (FQ+1) Public viewing Grey Roots Museum parking lot, 9 pm. Members with scopes appreciated. Contact stargazer@wightman.ca or lrodgers@bmts.com to confirm if you are unsure about weather.

Jun 7 Sat (FQ+2) Moon, Mars, Spica, Saturn in loose group, waxing gibbous Moon sits 2° below Mars and 12 degrees away from Spica, Saturn also visible in Libra.

Jun 13 Fri (FM) Night of the Full Moon “Honey Moon”

Jun 21 Sat (LQ+2) Summer Solstice Celebrate at Keppel Henge located in Keppelcroft Gardens near Big Bay ON. [504156 Grey Road #1 (Island View Drive)] Starts 11 am. Solar viewing with BAS members scopes. Contact John H. (stargazer@wightman.ca) for more information.
Public welcome. Parking fee by donation (suggested $3.00).

Jun 24 Tue (NM-2) Venus and Crescent Moon less than 3° apart in morning sky. The Moon is 3 days before new nicely placed between the Pleiades (Seven Sisters) and Aldebaran, in the Hyades. Nice grouping for a photo!

Jun 28 Sat (NM+1) BAS viewing @Fox -the regular NM viewing night at the Fox, viewing Saturn and Mars and objects in Milky Way.




Note: The chart below may not show current cloud patterns. Click anywhere on chart for up-to-date display.



Auroral Display
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.