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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)
or
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.


WEATHER INFORMATION
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 updated April 22, 2014 with events for April , May and June 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 April, May and 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”. 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) track runs near Tiverton/Kincardine. Contact stargazer@wightman.ca if you are interested in observing this event. Several 4th magnitude stars in the Hyades are occulted tonight as well and these can be observed from you home location as long as the moon is above your horizon.

Apr 5
Sat (FQ-2) BAS viewing @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 meaning it rises at sunset and sets at sunrise, so is visible all night long (highest at local midnight). 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 ever 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 stargazer@wightman.ca.

Viewing at Fox Observatory is weather permitting, of course, 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. 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. Please read the information at the top of the COMING EVENTS page for our policies regarding public attendance at BAS viewing events.


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.

MAY 2014

May 3 Sat (NM+4) BAS viewing @Fox ES Fox@dark. Viewing at Fox Observatory, weather permitting, notification by email to club members and those on our contact list. You can get on the list by contacting stargazer@wightman.ca. Backup night is May 10 which is Astronomy Day 2014 when the Moon will be 3 days past FQ. Astronomy Day viewing is a free public event.

Viewing at Fox Observatory is weather permitting, of course, 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. 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.

May 3/4 Sat/Sun AstroCATS Hamilton Centre RASC hosts its annual astronomy trade show. Talks by well-known astronomers, displays of new astronomy equipment by suppliers, draws, door prizes, etc. More information including admission prices can be found at www.astrocats.ca.

May 5 to May 11 International Astronomy Week. This week celebrates astronomy internationally with talks, viewings, etc. at many locations in Canada and elsewhere. Join BAS for its annual Astronomy Trivia Night May 7, public viewing at Grey Roots Museum May 9 and viewing at the Fox Observatory May 10.

May 6
Tue (FQ-1) Eta-Aquariid meteors Viewing from ES Fox Observatory at dark. The Moon is FQ so it will brighten the sky but many of the 60 meteors per hour will be visible if the weather cooperates. The peak of this shower is at 3 am but we can expect a meteor per minute on average before then and perhaps for a day or so before and after.
Meteor watching can be done from any dark location, but is more fun in a group when there are more observers. 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.

May 7 Wed (FQ) BAS meeting Grey Roots Museum 7 pm Astronomy Trivia Night, Teams (of 3 or 4) rack up points for correctly answering astronomy questions of various difficulties. Prizes awarded. A fun social night for beginners and experts alike. This will be a good way to bone up on your astronomical knowledge as well as having some fun. New members and visitors welcome. Short Business meeting precedes. Please enter the Multipurpose Room from the side (West) entrance. Public welcome (no charge)

May 9 Fri (FQ+2) Public viewing at Grey Roots Museum parking lot, 9 pm. This is the first of five public viewing nights. Note that due to logistic issues, the large Webster telescope will not be used at the museum for public viewing. Use of the Webster will be at public viewing events only at the ES Fox Observatory. However the Grey Roots viewing nights will feature several large (probably 12-inch) telescopes that will be manned by BAS members. There will be views of Mercury, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn as well as the Moon. The brighter clusters, nebula and galaxies will also be viewed. Backup night is May 10 Astronomy Day at the Fox Observatory.

If you have a telescope that you need help with, please bring it along and one of our members can give you some pointers.
Public welcome (no charge).
NOTE: this event is weather-permitting. A few clouds are not a problem, but general overcast or rain means the event cannot be held and is cancelled. Contact stargazer@wightman.ca or lrodgers@bmts.com to confirm if you are unsure about weather.

May 10 Sat (FQ+3) Astronomy Day -a free public viewing event, starting at dark at ES Fox Observatory. On the agenda is Moon viewing and viewing of Saturn at opposition. Saturn rises in the East at sunset and sets in West at sunrise and reaches its brightest at magnitude = 0 on this date. However, Saturn is well-placed before and after opposition, so you don’t need to wait for opposition to get good views. Public welcome (no charge).

May 13 Tue (FM-1) Double Shadow Transit on Jupiter 5:20 am - 5:32 DST . Both shadows will be near the limb so observing this very short event will be difficult. Good luck.

May 14 Wed (FM) Night of the Full Moon “Planting Moon”. Go out and plant something...

May 15
Thu (FM+1) Venus and Uranus close approach. Planets all move along paths close to the ecliptic so it is not surprising to see them near each other at times. The phenomena is called an appulse and in this case the two are about 1.3° apart in the dawn sky. This is a nice low-power view in a telescope or binoculars as Uranus is bright enough to be seen, even in a 7x35 pair.

May 24
Sat (NM-4) New Meteor Shower: Camelopardalids? This may be the best shower of 2014. The RASC Observer’s Handbook indicates a possible 100 to 400 shooting stars per hour and perhaps more emanating from a point in the constellation Camelopardalis. Look in the low northern sky in the area about halfway between Capella and Polaris. These large numbers for a new shower are the result of studies of debris trails from Comet 209P/LINEAR. The peak is predicted to be from 3 to 4 am and the Moon will be just a thin crescent and will not brighten the sky significantly.

Viewing will be held at the ES Fox Observatory at dark so please join us. Meteor watching can be done from any dark location, but is more fun in a group when there are more observers. 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.

Get out and watch if the weather permits. We might be in for a real treat!

May 25
Sun (NM-3) Venus near Moon (1.5° separation) in morning sky before sunrise. Another close approach of the two brightest objects in the night sky. Photo op!


May 26 Mon (NM-2) Huron Fringe Birding Festival, a star talk and star gazing night for the HF birders at MacGregor Pk starts at 9 pm. A star talk at the Visitors Centre will be followed by stargazing from the boardwalk. Leader: John H. stargazer@wightman.ca BAS members with scopes are requested to help out after dark (note: this event is not at the Fox Observatory as in the past).

May 28 Wed (NM)

May 30 Fri (NM+2) Moon, Mercury close approach (8°). Look in the West after sunset (about 9 pm DST) for Mercury at magnitude 1.2 and a 2-day old crescent about 8 degrees to the East. Jupiter shines at magnitude -1.9 in Gemini above the pair. Earthshine should be evident on the Moon.

May 31
Sat (NM +3) BAS viewing @Fox ES Fox @dark (an optional viewing dependent on weather). The 3 day old Moon will set fairly early in the evening leaving the rest of the night for dark sky viewing of the other planets in the sky, i.e. Saturn and Mars.

JUNE

Jun 3 Tue (FQ-2) Triple Shadow Transit on Jupiter This event unfortunately occurs during daylight hours making it a difficult observation. If you can lock onto Jupiter, however, (a GOTO scope might do it) look for the 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 This meeting occurs at 7 pm at the Fox Observatory not at the Grey Roots Museum. On the agenda is a webinar from K-W Telescopes. Topic TBA but it should be an interesting event. Another one of these is scheduled for the September meeting.

Jun 6
Fri (FQ+1) Public viewing at Grey Roots Museum parking lot, 9 pm. This is the second of five public viewing nights. Note that due to logistic issues, the large Webster telescope will not be used at the museum for public viewing. Use of the Webster will be at public viewing events only at the ES Fox Observatory. However the Grey Roots viewing nights will feature several large (probably 12-inch) telescopes that will be manned by BAS members. There will be views of Mercury, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn as well as the First Quarter Moon. The brighter clusters, nebula and galaxies will also be viewed. There may even be a comet or two.
If you have a telescope that you need help with, please bring it along and one of our members can give you some pointers. Public welcome (no charge).
NOTE: this event is weather-permitting. A few clouds are not a problem, but general overcast or rain means the event cannot be held and is cancelled. 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 above southern horizon. The waxing gibbous Moon (2 days past First Quarter) sits about 2 degrees below Mars and 12 degrees away from the bright star Spica in the constellation Virgo. Continue East about twice that far to spot Saturn shining brightly in the centre of Libra.

Jun 13 Fri (FM) Night of the Full Moon “Honey Moon”: perhaps a reference to the colour of mead that newly-wed couples were given as a gift in the Middle Ages...

Jun 21 Sat (LQ+2) Summer Solstice Celebrate the arrival of summer at Keppel Henge located in Keppelcroft Gardens near Big Bay ON. [504156 Grey Road #1 (Island View Drive)] Come about 11 am to watch the sun’s shadow (longest of the year) transit the centre line of the Keppel Henge Monoliths. Take part in a Tai Chi exercise as well or gaze at the prominences and other features of the sun through solar telescopes properly fitted out for safe solar viewing. A guide will explain the features of the site that make this a very robust solar observatory. BAS members are asked to bring solar telescopes. Contact John H. (stargazer@wightman.ca) for more information.
Public welcome. Parking fee by donation (suggested $3.00). Fees go towards the upkeep of the gardens.

Jun 24 Tue (NM-2) Venus and Crescent Moon are less than 3° apart in the morning sky. The Moon is a nice crescent just 3 days before new phase and it is nicely placed between the Pleiades (Seven Sisters) and the reddish Aldebaran, a star in the foreground of a larger cluster called the Hyades. The Hyades is a much closer cluster than the Pleiades so it is spread out more. The moon’s path takes it through the Hyades several times for the next year or so. This is a nice grouping for a photo!

Jun 28
Sat (NM+1) BAS viewing @Fox -the regular NM viewing night at the Fox. The Moon does not cast any light to impede viewing tonight. Come prepared for a late evening as the sky does not get truly dark until 11 pm or so. But spend that twilight time looking at the planets Saturn and Mars which are in a good location for viewing. By dark the clusters and gas clouds of the Milky Way are revealed and become prime targets for the Webster.
Viewing at Fox Observatory is weather permitting, of course, 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. 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. Please read the information at the top of the COMING EVENTS page for our policies regarding public attendance at BAS viewing events.