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.
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.
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 May 1 with events to the end of July 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 May to July 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 for these 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]
May 4 Wed BAS Regular Meeting Note Venue change: We are at the Tom Thomson Art Gallery (lower level) at 7 pm. Please enter by the main gallery doors and check in at the desk. Topic: Beginner’s Forum -A Question and Answer session geared towards beginners. Our panel of self-professed “experts” will try to answer all your questions. Come curious, leave informed. Public Welcome
The Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower happens under better conditions than last year, with a possible ZHR = 60. The Moon is a thin last crescent and does not rise until dawn in the east but unfortunately the radiant in Aquarius does clear the horizon until 2 or 3 am local time. But look for long trails of "earth-grazers" after midnight, however. The peak is at 4 pm on May 4, so that evening (after the BAS meeting, of course) will be ideal.
May 6 Fri NM
May 7 Sat Fox Dark of Moon Viewing night (BAS Members and Guests). If weather prevents observing, our backup night is the following Saturday. 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.
May 8 Sun Aldebaran 0.5° S of Moon This is not only miss for Bruce-Grey but it happens with the Moon and Aldebaran below the horizon.
May 9 Mon Transit of Mercury! The silhouette of Mercury passes across the face of the Sun from 7:12 am to 2:42 pm DST. This is not as rare as a Venus Transit, but well worth observing! Public viewing starts at the Fox Observatory at 7 am Monday morning! Plans are to use the Hydrogen-alpha solar telescope to project an image onto the big screen. There will also be other telescopes with proper solar filters for visible light viewing. This event will not be visible through binoculars unless they are very high power and properly filtered. Members are asked to please park near the observatory to leave room for guests in the main parking lot. Elementary students on program at the BOEC may also be in attendance to view the event.
If you missed the Venus transits in 2004 and 2012, here is your chance to see Mercury do so, the only other planet besides Venus that can. After this Mercury transit May 9, the next Mercury transit occurs in Nov 2019 and then we have a long, long pause with none until 2032!
May 13 Fri FQ
May 21 Sat FM
May 22 Sun Mars at Opposition (mag -2.0); The long-awaited Mars opposition occurs this month and brings Mars closest to Earth since Apr 8, 2014. Since a Martian year is 1.88 times as long as an Earth year, every time Mars completes a single orbit around the Sun, Earth has almost gone around twice. A Mars opposition occurs when planet Earth passes in between the Sun and Mars. Because of their orbits, this situation happens about every 2 years and 2 months. During opposition, Mars becomes one of the brightest objects in the night sky. Easy to see with the unaided eye, and very large and bright in a small telescope. With a better telescope you can even make out features on the surface of the planet, and even the polar ice caps. NASA takes advantage of these oppositions to launch spacecraft towards Mars. This is why you see a flurry of launches headed towards Mars every two years.
May 29 Sun LQ
Jun 1 Wed BAS Regular Meeting @Tom Thomson Art Gallery starts at 7 pm. Please enter by the main gallery doors and check in at the desk. Topic for tonight: Herb Coleman "SkyLab" -the first club observatory. Speaker: John H. The public is welcome to attend.
Jun 3 Fri Saturn at Opposition; Opposition occurs when planet Earth passes in between the Sun and Saturn so the Ringed Planet is in the sky at midnight and the Sun is on the other side of Earth. Saturn rises at sunset and sets in the west at dawn and in the sky all night. During opposition, Saturn is one of the brightest objects in the night sky at magnitude 0.0. Even in a small telescope the rings are visible and tilted about as much as they can be to our line of sight, about 26°. If you include the rings, Saturn is larger in a telescope than Jupiter with the same eyepiece.
Mercury is also very close to the last crescent Moon early this morning -separation is 1.5° at moonrise which is less than an hour before the Sun comes up so the sky will not be dark. Might make for a nice picture.
Jun 4 Sat NM and Huron Fringe Birding Festival MacGregor Park (star talk & tour). This is our annual star talk and sky gazing for the Huron Fringe Birders. The talk happens rain or shine starting at 9:00 pm. This is followed by star viewing with BAS members and telescopes on the boardwalk. You must be registered with the Huron Fringe Birding Festival to participate. Contact: HRBF registration
Jun 5 Sun Mercury Greatest Elongation West: 24.2°. This is not a great Mercury elongation since it tends to remain close to the eastern horizon and rises less than an hour before the Sun does. The sky will be in deep twilight when it is highest.
Jun 12 Sun FQ
Jun 20 Mon FM and Summer Solstice Keppel Henge Celebration starts 11 am. Our annual celebration of the start of summer at an iconic location that is designed specifically for that purpose. Solar telescopes will be available to view sunspots and prominences. Entrance fee by donation. The Sun will reach its highest point (68.5°) at 1:25 pm DST.
Jun 27 Mon LQ
Jul 1 to 3 (Fri to Sun) Bruce Pen National Park Dark Sky Weekend Our annual Dark Sky Weekend at the Bruce Peninsula National Park. BAS has a group campsite where we get to relax during the day (or attend star talks) and star gaze at night weather permitting. We generally set up in the parking lot at the Head of Trails for public viewing and laser-guided star shows. Members must register with Brett T. firstname.lastname@example.org or John H email@example.com to reserve a campsite.Ccamping starts Thu night Jun 30 until Sunday afternoon July 3.
Jul 4 Mon NM
Jul 6 Wed Regular Meeting at ES Fox Observatory This is a movie night (or Speaker TBA) and may involve shorter astronomy movie segments(original videos or from the internet) or perhaps a longer presentation from the Perimeter Institute, for ex. You never know what you will get. Public Welcome
Jul 8 Fri Grey Roots Public viewing in the main parking lot starts at twilight around 9 pm or so. Above the western horizon, there is a crescent Moon to view right beside Jupiter AND Saturn and Mars in the southern sky. BAS members usually have a variety of scopes for viewing. Public Welcome
Jul 9 Sat Fox Dark of Moon Viewing night (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. firstname.lastname@example.org or John H email@example.com 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.
Jul 11 Mon FQ
Jul 19 Tue FM
Jul 23/24 Sat/Sun Whispering Pines Stargazing Weekend is becoming our "go-to" event for the year. Camping facilities are excellent and BAs members camp for free. More information will be available soon. One of the nights is a public viewing night for campers.
Jul 26 Tue LQ
Jul 27 Wed 15:32 Delta Aquariid Meteor Shower: ZHR = 20. This is a rather sparse shower and peaks in the daytime.
A summary of the entire 2016 year ASTRONOMY events can be found here: Astro Events 2016. There is a separate list of BAS events now available as well by clicking here: BAS 2016 Events Summary
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