This site last updated August 26.
STARFEST Recap: See WEBLOG...
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 some deep sky viewing at the Fox Observatory on Aug 30 and our regular BAS meeting Sep 3 also at the Fox Observatory.
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
August 24, 2014: Using detailed information collected by ESA's Rosetta spacecraft during its first two weeks at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, five locations have been identified as candidate sites to set down the Philae lander in November – the first time a landing on a comet has ever been attempted.Before arrival, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko had never been seen close up and so the race to find a suitable landing site for the 100 kg lander could only begin when Rosetta rendezvoused with the comet on 6 August.The landing is expected to take place in mid-November when the comet is about 450 million km from the Sun, before activity on the comet reaches levels that might jeopardise the safe and accurate deployment of Philae to the comet's surface, and before surface material is modified by this activity.
See more from ESA at http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta/Rosetta_Landing_site_search_narrows.
Info available here from Universe Today as well: http://www.universetoday.com/114088/5-landing-site-candidates-selected-for-rosettas-historic-philae-comet-lander/
From Aug 6, 2014:
August 6, 2014: Today, after a decade-long journey chasing its target, the European Space Agency's Rosetta probe, carrying three NASA instruments, became the first spacecraft to rendezvous with a comet, 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. "After 10 years, five months and four days travelling towards our destination, looping around the sun five times and clocking up 6.4 billion kilometers, we are delighted to announce finally we are here," said Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA's director General. A video from ESA shows how Rosetta will match velocities with the comet's core and maneuver to within 30 km of the comet's surface, where the weak gravity of 67P can capture the spacecraft. Going into orbit around a comet is a historic moment in the history of space exploration. Good luck to the Rosetta team as they attempt this unprecedented feat.
These 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 1st Wed of the month meetings start on Mar 5, 2014. Next meeting is at the ES Fox Observatory August 6, 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 7:00 pm Leader: John H.
(alt. date Sep 20 (LQ+4) Note: this event has been postponed to a date TBA
Sep 9 Tue (FM) ☹ Night of the Full Moon “Harvest Moon”
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 Starfest Recap & Gadget Night
Oct 8 Wed (FM) ☺ BAS viewing: Second Lunar Eclipse of 2014 from 6th St Washroom/pavillion along Lake Huron shore. 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 location along Lake Huron to be designated 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.
Note: The chart below may not show current cloud patterns. Click anywhere on chart for up-to-date display. If the Chart is still out of date, try clearing the cache of your web browser.
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.