Looking up at Mars

Did you know that we can see surface detail on Mars with even a small telescope?

Mars’ orbit is somewhat elliptical (egg-shaped) meaning that about every two years or so, Mars comes closer to the Earth becoming both brighter and larger in visual appearance if looking through a telescope.

Mars has a number of interesting features including polar caps, massive volcanoes and an incredibly large canyon. Continue reading Looking up at Mars

Does the darkness need our protection?

Today’s post comes from our Natural Heritage Education Coordinator Brad Steinberg.

Not many researchers like being kept in the dark…

…except, that is, for scotobiologists!

Scotobiology is the science of darkness, a research topic that is growing in importance. Many birds, amphibians, insects and plants (and us!) have evolved to rely on uninterrupted periods of darkness during the night.

Continue reading Does the darkness need our protection?

How to tell direction without a compass

Did you know you can determine your directions without a compass or GPS?

It would be wonderful if we had a built-in system to help us tell direction. If we did, it would probably have saved many lives who became lost by travelling away from safety rather than towards it.

Humans are not very good at instinctively knowing which direction they face. Most methods of determining one’s direction when in the forest tend to be unreliable.

Continue reading How to tell direction without a compass

Summer star parties 2017

Humanity’s fascination with the celestial bodies dates back millennia.

And times haven’t changed.

Camper families love stargazing especially from mid-July to late August during the Perseid meteor shower. At peak time (August 11-12) — if the skies are clear — you can see up to 50-100 meteors an hour!

Star parties are held in our parks every summer, especially in Northern Ontario, where there’s less light pollution.

Continue reading Summer star parties 2017

Summer star parties 2016

Humanity’s fascination with the celestial bodies dates back millennia.

And times haven’t changed.

Camper families love stargazing especially from mid-July to late August during the Perseid meteor shower. At peak time (August 9-13, 2016) — if the skies are clear — you can see up to 50-100 meteors an hour!

Star parties are held in our parks every summer, especially in Northern Ontario, where there’s less light pollution.

Continue reading Summer star parties 2016

Soak in the summer nightlife

August nightlife at Ontario Parks promises to be exciting!

Take in the Perseid Meteor Shower, which produces 50-100 meteors an hour at its peak. Meet “spirited” characters from Ontario’s past on a ghost walk. Solve a park mystery and maybe even hear wolves howl.

We’ve collected a few favourite evening events; which one speaks to you?

Continue reading Soak in the summer nightlife