General Info: PLEASE READ
Note: Observing is weather dependant -see Weather Information note at right.
BAS Meeting Locations: (not weather dependant)
Meetings happen at
ES Fox Observatory (June, July, Aug and September only in 2014) (washrooms are available) (map)
Grey Roots Museum (map) Meeting Room Side Entrance (March, April, May, October, November, December only) (washrooms are available)
Observing Locations: (all locations are handicap accessible)
Our events usually happen at either the ES Fox Observatory (click for map)
or the Grey Roots Museum (click for map) parking lot.
Both observing locations are “remote locations” meaning there are NO on-site washroom facilities.
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.
To help with your observing plans with regard to moonlight, check the notation like (NM+3) beside various dates. This gives the approximate moon phase. NM+3, for ex. means the moon is 3 days after New, or LQ-2 means 2 days before Last Quarter.
Note: Some events are for BAS members and guests only, others are “public welcome events” and may or may not have fees. Refer to each entry for details. If you are coming from a distance we will try to accommodate you regardless. 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 officials there. BAS monthly Meetings are not usually weather dependant.
If skies are partly cloudy, check the Clear Sky Clock (bottom of HOME page) or call 519-371-0670 to confirm the event.
This list was updated February 7, 2014 with events now included for March, April and May, 2014.
Note: BAS meetings and observing events are held at the Fox Observatory (at BOEC) or the Grey Roots Museum. 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 observatory please. Washrooms at the Learning Centre will be available for all ES Fox events.
Astronomical/BAS events for Feb, Mar and Apr 2014:
Feb 1 Sat (NM+2) CANCELLED BAS viewing@Fox We are hoping to get some winter viewing weather permitting. Details will be sent to members by email. Get on the list by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feb 3 Mon (FQ-2) Mercury and Neptune closest. Mercury sits low above the western horizon after sunset but this is not a good apparition for the planet. If you do spot it, Neptune, another difficult target, is only 2° 33 min away. At the same time Uranus and the crescent Moon are closest together (2° 9 min apart) just above Mercury/Neptune. Might be a chance to see both of the outer gas giants. Neptune (mag 6) is easier to see in binoculars than Uranus (mag 8).
Feb 6/7/8 (FQ+...) Comet Lovejoy (mag 6) and LINEAR (mag 10) about 2° apart in morning sky. These two come closest together this night but are near each other for several days. See the finder chart in MAPS/CHARTS.
Feb 14 Fri (FM) ☹ Night of the Full Moon “Snow Moon”. As if we have not had enough! Get out your binoculars and have a look at the Full Moon. There is a good article on binocular Moon viewing at the Sky News site: http://www.skynews.ca/view-the-moon-with-your-binoculars/
Feb 19-22 (LQ-3) Saturn, Spica, Mars, Moon are in a nice group in the dawn sky. This is the prettiest grouping of celestial objects for the month. The crescent moon moves eastward along the ecliptic over the Wed to Sat period.
Feb 26 Wed (NM-2) Venus near thin crescent Moon in dawn sky before sunrise. The waning crescent moon, now illuminated 14%, leaves the other planets behind and appears next to the brilliant planet Venus -always a nice sight. Separation between the two is 4°.
Feb 27 Thu (NM-1) Mercury near thinner (7%) crescent Moon in dawn sky before sunrise. Now the planet near the Moon’s path is Mercury, but the viewing is later in the morning closer to sunrise and more difficult.
Mar 1 Sat (NM) ☻ Messier Marathon@Fox (prime night) viewing at Fox weather permitting, notification by email to club members and those on our contact list. You can get on the list by contacting email@example.com. This normally is a dusk ‘til dawn event to catch all the Messier objects, but stay as long as you wish. Do come prepared (warm clothing, refreshments, etc.) a kettle and microwave are available at the observatory. If weather prevents observing, our backup night is Mar 29. Please park near the Learning Centre and follow the laneway 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.
Mar 5 BAS meeting at Grey Roots Museum 7 pm. Topic: Lunar Eclipses for 2014: John H. Multipurpose Room. Please enter the Multipurpose Room from the side (West) entrance. The talk will follow a short Annual General Meeting giving the state of club finances, etc. All subsequent BAS meetings are open to the public.
Mar 7 Fri (FQ) Moon in centre of Hyades near Aldebaran (about 2° from Aldebaran) in evening sky. The Hyades cluster is the V-shaped group that makes up the face of Taurus and includes the foreground star Aldebaran -the “red eye” of the Bull. This is a good photo opportunity for simple tripod shots.
Mar 14 Fri (FM-2) Mercury at greatest elongation (27.6° W) from the Sun in the morning sky. However, it is not the best such event for 2014. Mercury appears to hug the eastern horizon all month and stays down in the twilight glow in March.
Mar 16 Sun (FM) ☹ Night of the Full Moon “Sap Moon”. Yes, the sap may well be rising. Get out your binoculars and have a look at the Full Moon. There is a good article on binocular Moon viewing at the Sky News site: http://www.skynews.ca/view-the-moon-with-your-binoculars/
Mar 18 Tue (FM+2) Moon, Mars, Spica Triangle rises about 9 pm in the East. Moon is gibbous, just past full so the sky is bright, but Mars and Spica stand out. Objects are about 4° away from each other, with moonrise about 10 pm DST. Saturn follows the group about midnight local time.
Mar 20 Thu (FM+4) Occultation of Regulus by asteroid Erigone (163) Regulus should disappear for 14.3 seconds! The asteroid Erigone is magnitude 12.4, while Regulus is 1.3 and during the occultation, only Erigone will be visible, a magnitude drop if 11.3 ! This is a must see event. Path of occultation is east of Bruce-Grey and travel is required. Ideal location in the middle of the track is close to Barry’s Bay, Killaloe and Eganville, while Renfrew and Bancroft are on the edge of the shadow track. KIngston is in a good location as well. More details to come at the March 5 meeting.
Mar 22 Sat (LQ-2) Mercury and Neptune only 1.2° apart in morning sky before sunrise. This is related to the Feb 3 event when Mercury/Neptune were visible in the evening sky and now they are together again in the morning sky.
Mar 26 Wed Adventure Talk: Aurora Bruce County Museum 9:30 AM talk by John H. Regular museum admission applies. Contact Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre for details about the series here: http://www.brucemuseum.ca/events/adventure-talks-world-perspective
Mar 27 Thu (NM-3) Venus near crescent Moon (3.3° apart) above eastern horizon before sunrise. Another close approach of the two brightest objects in the night sky. Photo op!
Mar 29 Sat (NM-1) Messier Marathon (backup) ES Fox @dark. If the prime night (Mar 1) is cloudy, we try again tonight. Notification will be sent out by email to club members and those on our contact list if this is a go. Messier Marathons are normally dusk ‘til dawn events to catch all the Messier objects, but stay as long as you wish. Do come prepared (warm clothing, refreshments, etc.) a kettle and microwave are available at the observatory. This night is also EARTH HOUR 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm and we are open for dark sky sights for the public. It is not expected that too many will persevere for the marathon. Please park near the Learning Centre and follow the laneway 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.
Mar 30 Sun (NM) ☻
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”. The meeting is in the Multipurpose Room so please enter from the side (West) entrance. The public is welcome to attend at no charge.
Apr 3 Thu (NM+3) Spectacular Graze of 68 Tau (mag 4.3) travel to a location near London/Chatham is required. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in observing this event.
Apr 5 Sat (FQ-2) BAS viewing @Fox ES Fox @dark. Special viewing for new members and beginners. Bring your own scopes, if you would like help with them and/or come to see what we have available for viewing. We will focus on the basics this (setting up, aligning finders, using charts, etc.) this evening. Please park near the Learning Centre and follow the laneway 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.
Apr 8 Tue (FQ+1) Mars reaches opposition when it rises at sunset and sets at sunrise, so is visible all night long. It is at its brightest as well, magnitude -1.5, but viewing is good for a month before and after opposition. Mars is also largest at opposition and so surface details are easier to see than at other times. The planet is 15 arc-seconds across which is about 3/5 as big as it can get and it is quite high in the sky (40°) when it crosses the meridian. In 2018, it will again be as large as it can get (24 arc-seconds but it will only be half as high in the sky (at best) as it will be in 2014.
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 DST Apr 15. Moon is 26° high at mid eclipse. Observing will occur from ES Fox since the event occurs well up in the sky and will be visible in its entirety from the Fox Observatory. Note: Spica is less than 2° from the eclipsed Moon -a rare instance of a bright star near the Moon during an eclipse. Public welcome. Please park near the Learning Centre and follow the laneway 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.
Apr 22 Tue (LQ) Lyrid Meteors, 20/h at peak 1 pm. Some may be visible on evening Apr 22. Moon waning 46%. This is also International Earth Day but no activities other than a possible meteor watch are planned for the Fox Observatory. Dress appropriately, it gets very cool at night, and bring refreshments although we will have hot chocolate in the warm up room and a microwave is available. A lawn chair is recommended (and blankets) for comfort during the watch. Stay as long as you want. Bring a red flashlight if you have one.
Apr 26 Sat (NM-3) BAS viewing @Fox @dark, a backup viewing night if some or all of the other nights are clouded out. Notification will be provided by email to club members and those on our contact list. You can get on the list by contacting email@example.com.
Apr 29 Tue (NM) ☻ Annular Solar Eclipse (“ring” eclipse) visible in Antarctic only. This is mentioned for academic interest only since this event is difficult to observe and rather short duration even if you can get there. Partial phases will be visible from parts of Australia.