General Info: PLEASE READ
Note: Observing is weather dependant -see Weather Information note at right.
BAS Meeting Locations: (not weather dependant)
Meetings happen at 7 pm at
ES Fox Observatory (ONLY on July 6 and Sep 7 in 2016) (washrooms are available) (map)
Tom Thomson Art Gallery Meeting Room Lower Level STARTING MAY 4, 2016
and also June 1, Oct 5, Nov 2 and Dec 7. (July 6 and Sep 7 meetings are at Fox Observatory)
The physical address of the TTAG is 841 1st Ave W. Owen Sound. (map)
Observing Locations: (all locations are handicap accessible)
Our events happen mostly at the ES Fox Observatory (click for map) but there are other venues periodically. See the COMING EVENTS list for details.
Most observing locations are “remote locations” meaning there are NO permanent on-site washroom facilities. However, a portable washroom is located near the Fox Observatory for the summer only.
BAS Observing Events (dates listed below) will occur at the ES Fox Observatory (3092 Bruce Rd 13) at the Bluewater Outdoor Ed Centre. Viewing at the observatory is WEATHER DEPENDENT. See notes below for more about weather.
Best observing occurs during NM and LQ. When the Moon brightens the sky at FQ and FM fainter objects are not as easily seen. The Moon, planets, and star clusters are usually visible even during FM nights using our GOTO telescope.
Note: Some events are for BAS members and guests only, others are “public welcome” events and usually are admission by donation. School-aged children are always free and welcome to attend with parents or guardians. Refer to each listing in COMING EVENTS for details. If you are coming from a distance we will try to accommodate you. Contact us by phone (519-371-0670) ahead of time.
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, there may not be any BAS members there. Only BAS monthly meetings occur rain or shine.
If skies are partly cloudy, check the ES Fox Observatory Clear Sky Clock for weather prospects or call 519-371-0670 to confirm the event.
This list was updated Sep 21 with events to the end of October 2016 .
Note: BAS meetings are NOT held in January and February but impromptu observing sessions continue on weekends at the Fox Observatory. Contact Brett T. at firstname.lastname@example.org or John H. at email@example.com to be put on the alert list for these.
Stargazing at the Fox Observatory is only possible weather permitting. When visiting the observatory, park in the lot near the Learning Centre and walk to the observatory please. Washrooms at the Learning Centre will be available for all ES Fox events and a portable washroom is on site for the summer.
Astronomical and BAS viewing events August to October 2016:
BAS meetings will be held at the Tom Thomson Art Gallery (May 4, June 1, Oct 5, Nov 2, Dec 7) or at Fox Observatory (July 6 and Sep 7 only). Impromptu observing occurs at the Fox Observatory on a small group basis. To be put on the notification list email Brett T. at firstname.lastname@example.org or John H. at email@example.com. Some of the more interesting events are described graphically in SKY SIGHTS.
A summary of the entire 2016 year ASTRONOMY events can be found here: Astro Events 2016 There is a separate list of BAS events available here: BAS 2016 Events Summary [Note: several NEW items were added March 29]
Aug 2 Mon: NM
Aug 3 Wed: Starfest starts tomorrow and BAS exec will be busy getting ready so our regular meeting is cancelled.
Aug 4 - 7 Thu - Sun: STARFEST, the biggest and best amateur astronomy gathering happens this weekend and you can get a head start on the best camp spots by arriving Thu. Aug 4. BAS usually camps out at the top of the hill just past the checkpoint and just before the road curves towards the main site. Look for our sign. Starfest registration before July 1 is reduced by $10. See the Starfest website at http://www.nyaa.ca/
Aug 10 Wed: FQ
Aug 12 Fri: 07:26 Perseid Meteor Shower: Perseid Meteors are noticeable in our sky from July 17 through to Aug 24, so if you see a bright shooting star that seems to track from the head of Perseus, it was probably one of those, especially if it was fast. The peak night where 90 to 100 trails per hour are forecast is Aug 12 at about 9 am DST. Try viewing the night before or the night after, but note that the shower is over a month long and viewing around NM (Aug 2) will still be good. On peak night Aug 12, the FQ+2day-old Moon sets around 1:15 am so the sky is dark from then on.
Prepare for a cool/cold evening especially later in August when it can be very cool at night. The best way to observe is from your favourite lawn chair, a recliner preferably and wear a warmer jacket and head gear and perhaps lie under a damp-proof blanket or sheet.
Perseids are also famous for leaving persistent trains. Sometimes these will last for several seconds after the flash and once in a while they last for several minutes! If you have your binos handy, and can locate the trail, you can see them for a lot longer.
You can contribute to meteor science by keeping track of numbers of Perseids. Count how many are seen in a half hour, for ex. recording the start and stop time. More observers are better, and a circle of watchers can count the ones that a solo watcher would miss. Send your results in to John at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will pass them on to those organizations looking for the info.
More here: BAS WEBLOG
Aug 13 Sat: BAS at Inverhuron Provincial Park -a public stargazing night. BAS members are asked to contact John H. if they can help out with telescopes. There is usually a big crowd if the weather cooperates and 4 or 5 telescopes are best so that there everyone can get a chance to see "Saturn, Mars and all of the stars!" (a gibbous Moon too).
Aug 18 Thu: FM
Aug 21 Mon: One Year Countdown starts to Solar Eclipse Monday, Aug 21, 2017. Check out the information under the 2017 SOL. ECLIPSE tab at the top of the HOME page.
Aug 24 Wed: Mars 1.8° N of Antares; Saturn 4.3° N of Mars, Moon at LQ. This is the alignment of Saturn, Mars and Antares mentioned in SKY SIGHTS. Click the link to go there for all the details.
Aug 26 Fri: Grey Roots Public viewing (starts at dark). This public viewing night is weather dependant of course. If it is clear, we set up telescopes in the main parking lot at twilight around 9 pm or so. Above the western horizon, Venus and Jupiter are very close but in twilight. One day later they basically merge into a single point of light. Saturn and Mars in the southern sky are the feature planets and so are many of the nebula and clusters of the summer MW. BAS members usually have a variety of scopes for viewing. Public Welcome.
Aug 27 Sat: 16:53 Venus Jupiter separation 0.1° !!! See SKY SIGHTS for details of this very close approach of Venus and Jupiter. [In my 46 years of observing, they have never been this close! -ed] [Note after the fact: we were clouded out!-ed]
Sep 1 Thu: NM: Annular Solar Eclipse (mid-Africa, Madagascar and into Indian Ocean). This is a less-than-perfect ring-type eclipse where the corona and prominences will not be visible (unless you are watching with an H-alpha telescope). No part of this, even partial phases are visible from Canada because it happens during dark hours in N. America.
Sep 2 Fri: Neptune at Opposition (magnitude 7.8) . At this time, the gas giant is closest to Earth and is visible all night long from sunset to sunrise. Located in Aquarius, Neptune requires a telescope to be seen.
Sep 3 Sat: Fox Dark of Moon viewing (BAS members and guests). If weather prevents observing, our backup night is Sunday (or even Friday night if weather looks poor for Saturday). Contact Brett T. email@example.com or John H firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to be put on the alert list. Please park near the Learning Centre and follow the lane way between the barn and Centre to the ES Fox building. No vehicles are allowed at the observatory while we are hosting star parties. Bring a red flashlight if you have one.
Sep 7 Wed: Regular Meeting at Fox Observatory at 7 pm: Beginner’s Astrophotography with the Mallincam and other cameras: Brett T. assisted by John H. We hope to have a live Mallincam viewing session during the second half of the meeting this night. The crescent moon will be on the viewing agenda as well as Saturn and Mars as well as the Messier objects in Sagittarius and Scorpius and other MW constellations.
Sep 9 Fri: FQ
Sep 16 Fri: FM Penumbral Lunar Eclipse. Again not visible from N. America since it occurs over the eastern hemisphere. In any case only a very small part of the moon is eclipsed by the penumbra which is the almost invisible outer edge of the Earth's shadow. Don't make any travel plans as the view will not be worth it. This FM is also one of the larger moons of 2016 with the moon 2 days from perigee.
Sep 17 Sat: HAPPY 5th ANNIVERSARY to ES Fox Observatory! Join BAS members at the Fox Observatory at noon or so for a celebratory cake and coffee. Nothing elaborate is planned except a thank you to ES Fox Construction for the donation that made the observatory possible.
Sep 22 Thu: Autumnal Equinox 09:21. At this point the Sun has crossed the celestial equator and starts its trek to the southern extreme of its path in our sky. Summer is officially over and Fall has begun. Enjoy the colours and bug-free observing nights!
Sep 23 Fri: LQ
Sep 24 Sat: Fox Dark of Moon viewing (BAS members and guests -public welcome). If weather prevents observing, our backup night is Sunday (or even Friday night if weather looks poor for Saturday). Contact Brett T. email@example.com or John H firstname.lastname@example.org for details and weather cancellation info. Please park near the Learning Centre and follow the lane way between the barn and Centre to the ES Fox building. No vehicles are allowed at the observatory while we are hosting star parties. Bring a red flashlight if you have one.
Sep 30 Fri: NM
Oct 1 Sat: Fox Dark of Moon viewing (BAS members and guests -public welcome). If weather prevents observing, our backup night is Sunday (or even Friday night if weather looks poor for Saturday). Contact Brett T. email@example.com or John H firstname.lastname@example.org for details and weather cancellation info. Please park near the Learning Centre and follow the lane way between the barn and Centre to the ES Fox building. No vehicles are allowed at the observatory while we are hosting star parties. Bring a red flashlight if you have one.
Oct 3 Mon: Venus just 4° below 2.7 day-old crescent Moon above western horizon
Oct 5 Wed: Regular Meeting 7 pm Tom Thomson Art Gallery Speaker Zoe Kessler: Women in Astronomy, Public Welcome. We resume our meetings at the Art Gallery this month and for the rest of the year. Enter at the main entrance and proceed to the lower level.
Oct 5 Wed: Saturn about 6° from 5 day-old crescent Moon
Oct 8 Sat FQ
Oct 15 Sat Uranus at Opposition (magnitude 5.7) . At opposition, planets are closest to Earth and visible all night long from sunset to sunrise. Located in Pisces, Uranus requires binoculars to be seen but some have been able to see it in dark skies. the FM is right nearby on this night so it will be impossible to spot it naked eye until a week or so from now and the sky is darker.
Oct 15 Sat FM Perigean Full Moon with perigee only 20 hours after full moon is reached. But stay tuned, the Nov FM is even better!
Oct 19 Wed Aldebaran 0.3° S of Moon Occultation 1:48 am to 2:31 am DST. Finally, an occultation of Aldebaran occurs that can be seen locally. The Moon is 55° high at the start of the occultation and disappearance occurs at the upper bright limb. Re-appearance is 43 minutes later at the dark limb which will be much easier to see when the first magnitude star appears to pop out from behind the dark limb. See SKY EVENTS for more details.
Oct 20 Thu Orionid Meteor Shower: ZHR = 20. This shower peaks at 1 am on Oct 21 actually, but you should be out watching Oct 20. The number is low but the meteors are faster (67 km/s) beating the Perseids at 60 km/s. Moon is last quarter and will interfere with the view since it is situated right at the radiant point this evening. (Dang!)
Oct 22 Sat LQ
Oct 27 Thu: Venus lines up between Antares and Saturn above Scorpius above SW horizon. Look about ¾ hr after sunset. The group sets by 8:20 pm or so with Antares going first at 7:30 pm DST. You may recall Mars threading the gap back in August. Now it is Venus' turn!
Oct 29 Sat Fox Dark of Moon viewing (BAS members and guests). If weather looks poor for Saturday, our backup night is Sunday (or perhaps Friday night). Contact Brett T. email@example.com or John H firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to be put on the alert list or for other information like weather cancellation details. Please park near the Learning Centre and follow the lane way between the barn and Centre to the ES Fox building. No vehicles are allowed at the observatory while we are hosting star parties. Bring a red flashlight if you have one. The public is welcome to attend these sessions.
Oct 30 Sun NM