Stars over Killarney 2019: a celebration of Indigenous astronomy

Did you know that 2019 is the United Nations year of Indigenous Languages?

In celebration, Killarney Provincial Park and our Wiikwemkoong partners at Point Grondine Park, along with our colleagues at Science North, are thrilled to present Stars over Killarney 2019: a weekend of Indigenous astronomy and cultural learning!

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Stories in the stars / Pride in our hearts

Today’s post comes from Will Morin, a Professor of Indigenous Studies at the University of Sudbury and Bruce Waters, a former educator at the McLaughlin Planetarium and founder of the Killarney Provincial Park Observatory.

It’s time we learn the astronomical traditions of the diverse Indigenous cultures in the Americas.

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Eyes on the skies — August

Welcome to the Ontario Parks “Eyes on the Skies” series. This space (<– see what we did there?) will cover a wide range of astronomy topics with a focus on what can be seen from the pristine skies found in our provincial parks.

August is here at last with its fine weather, fewer mosquitos, and longer nights. All of the constellations and objects from July are still visible, but there are a few exciting new things to see this month.

Here are our astronomical highlights for August 2019:

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The long road to Lake Superior Provincial Park’s Dark Sky Preserve

Today’s post comes from Charlotte Westcott, a Discovery Program staff member at Lake Superior Provincial Park.

As the sun sets, the stars begin to appear. Like old friends, their familiar glow brings us home no matter how far away our house may be. Our friendly acquaintances, the constellations, trace their way across the sky. The white glow of the Milky Way emerges slowly to drown out its fainter neighbours.

Far away from the light pollution of major cities, Lake Superior Provincial Park’s night sky is one of the darkest in North America.

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The Lake Superior Provincial Park Dark Sky Preserve

On July 17, 2018, Lake Superior Provincial Park was officially recognized as a nationally certified Dark Sky Preserve by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, becoming our second provincial park to earn this prestigious designation.

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Summer star parties 2019

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

And times haven’t changed.

Star parties and night sky events are held in our parks every summer, especially in northern Ontario, where there’s less light pollution.
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The Killarney Provincial Park Dark Sky Preserve

In 2018, Killarney Provincial Park became Ontario’s first provincial park to be designated as a Dark Sky Preserve by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada!

Dark Sky Preserve badge

We are committed to the protection and preservation of our province’s biodiversity. The night skies in their natural splendour are an important part of that protection.

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To touch the moon: the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing

Ever since ancient times, the moon has fascinated us. It lures us with its beauty and frightens us with its potential.

It fills our hearts with romance, imbuing with our poetry and art with moonlight. We’ve even created a fear of the moon.

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