General Info: PLEASE READ
Note: Observing is weather dependant -see Weather Information note at right.
BAS Meeting Locations: (not weather dependant)
Note: There will be no regular BAS meeting on August 3 since that is the week of Starfest.
Meetings happen at 7 pm at
ES Fox Observatory (June 1, July 6, NO AUGUST MEETING, and September 7 in 2016) (washrooms are available) (map)
Grey Roots Museum (map) Meeting Room Side Entrance (March 2, April 6, May 4, October 5, November 2 and December 7) (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 permanent on-site washroom facilities. 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.
To help with your observing plans with regard to moonlight, check the dates for moon phases given in the listing. Best observing occurs during NM and LQ. FQ and FM are times when the Moon brightens the sky so fainter objects are not as easily seen. Planets are usually visible even during FM nights.
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 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 Jan 14 with events to the end of March 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 January to March 2016:
BAS meetings are held at the Grey Roots Museum or Fox Observatory and impromptu observing continues 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 coming soon.
Jan 1 Fri Happy New Year! Celebrate by observing Comet Catalina right beside Arcturus. Separation is about half a degree. A binocular comet (magnitude 6?) right beside the 3rd brightest star in the sky! Nice.
Jan 2 Sat LQ
Jan 4 Mon Quadrantid Meteors 120/h peaking at 3:00 am with Moon in crescent phase rising about 2:30 am. This is an usual shower in that it lasts for only a few hours not the days that other showers stretch over. And as it turns out North America is in prime position to receive what the Quadrantids have to offer. Start watching these by midnight and continue to dawn (or let your camera do the watching...)
Jan 6 Wed NO BAS meeting tonight. Join us March 2, 2016 for our first regular 2016 meeting.
Jan 9 Sat NM Venus and Saturn appear very close in the morning sky. When Venus and Saturn rise they will be 17.5 minutes of arc apart. As the night continues they separate gradually until at sunrise, the planets are 26 minutes apart. Then by the time they set in daylight, they are 43 minutes apart. This is a very close approach of these planets in the dawn sky with the closest spacing only 5 minutes but unfortunately that occurs below our eastern horizon around midnight our time.
Jan 15 Fri Comet Catalina appears near Alkaid (eta-UMa) the tail star of the Big Dipper tonight. From Jan 13 on, however, Catalina is circumpolar. This means that it never sets below the horizon during the night. Of course when daylight comes it is not visible but as soon as dark falls, it can be observed and it stays visible until dawn.
Jan 16 Sat FQ
Jan 19 Tue Another Aldebaran occultation and this one at a reasonable hour; Moon is not full but gibbous after LQ. Look for the star to disappear on the dark limb at 9:13 pm and to reappear at 10:31 pm EST on the bright trailing edge of the Moon.
Jan 23 Sat FM
Jan 31 Sat LQ
Feb 3 Wed No BAS meeting tonight. Next meeting is March 2, 2016
Feb 6 Sat Fox Dark of Moon Viewing night, weather permitting. Notification by email to club members and those on our contact list. To be added contact firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Feb 8 Mon NM
Feb 14 Sun Comet Catalina 17.5° from Double Cluster. Not a particularly close pass but Catalina does not pass near any significant objects in February. The comet should still be a binocular object and has been circumpolar since Jan 15 so is visible all night long.
Feb 15 Mon FQ
Feb 22 Mon FM
Mar 1 Tue LQ
Mar 2 Wed First Regular BAS meeting tonight at 7 pm at Grey Roots Museum -Annual General Meeting -a quick "state-of-the-union" session followed by a TBA topic. Membership dues for 2016 are due today. Please enter the Multipurpose Room from the side (West) entrance. Public welcome (no charge).
Mar 5 Sat Fox Dark of Moon Viewing night Messier Marathon #1 (Backup night Apr 9). This is the prime night for marathon viewing at Fox Observatory, weather permitting. Notification by email to club members and those on our contact list. To be added contact 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, coffee maker (bring Keurig K-cups of your choice) and microwave are available at the observatory. If weather prevents observing, our backup night is Apr 9. 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.
Mar 8 Tue Jupiter at Opposition and visible all night long. At opposition, planets are closest to us and appear largest and brightest through our telescopes. Jupiter’s magnitude is -2.5 at this time but note that good
viewing lasts for several weeks, even a month before and after this date. Near opposition, however, planets rise at sunset and set at sunrise, so they are visible for the longest interval of the current viewing season. Be sure to go out and have a look at the King of Planets and its moons.
Total Solar Eclipse (Indonesia and S. Pacific). This is the best total solar eclipse for 2016 (the other is an annular eclipse Sep 1 that crosses the S.Atlantic, Africa and Indian Ocean). No part of the Mar 8 eclipse is visible from Canada and only a thin partial from Alaska. More info here: Mr. Eclipse Mar 9 Total
Mar 13 Sun DST begins. Set your clocks forward 1 hour Sunday night at bedtime.
Mar 15 Tue FQ
Mar 19 Sat Vernal Equinox. Sun reaches a point directly over the equator at 11:30 pm Mar 19 and spring officially starts in the northern hemisphere.
Mar 23 Wed Penumbral Lunar Eclipse. This eclipse is only of academic interest since the Moon's brightness will not be affected significantly. Any changes might be measured with sensitive instruments, but it will not be noticeable to the naked eye. More info here: Mr. Eclipse Mar 23 Penumbral
Mar 31 Thu LQ
A summary of the entire 2016 year ASTRONOMY events can be found here: Astro Events 2016. There is a separate list of BAS events coming soon.
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