For thousands of years, humans have looked up at the stars. The stars helped them try to understand their purpose, and the role they play in our lives.
To help memorize the different stars, patterns of connect-the-dot figures were created by many different cultures. Today, we recognize 88 official patterns or “constellations” of stars.
Today we will explore one of the most well-known constellations: Orion.
Continue reading Featured constellation: Orion
Welcome to the Ontario Parks “Eyes on the Skies” series. This “space” 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.
The cold, crisp days of the New Year often reward us with fantastically beautiful nights, rich with bright stars and interesting sights.
Of the 17 brightest stars seen from Ontario, nine are visible during winter nights, and many interesting objects await the observer who is prepared to brave the cold.
Here are our astronomical highlights for January:
Continue reading Eyes on the skies – January
November is the perfect time for stargazing.
Even though the temperatures are cooling down, the early sunset and later sunrise provide us with almost fifteen hours of darkness in which to observe nighttime splendors. Plus, there are some exciting occurrences lighting up the skies all month long.
Why not take some time this month to view these celestial splendours?
Continue reading Celestial objects of interest in November
Welcome to the Ontario Parks “Eyes on the Skies” series. This 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.
November usually brings our first snows and the opportunity for some great outdoor adventures.
The early sunset and later sunrise provides us with almost 15 hours of darkness in which to observe nighttime splendors.
Here are our astronomical highlights for November 2019:
Continue reading Eyes on the skies — November
Stars as seen in midnight’s gaze
Stars shining upon shoreline’s haze
Guiding us, teaching us with stories manifold
About ourselves, stars speak, from birth till old.
Their permanence ties us to days gone by
But to hide their secrets, they still do try
To gaze upon them brings dreams of futures bright
But to see them vanish, is to lose much delight.
At Ontario Parks, we’re committed to the protection and preservation of our province’s biodiversity. The night skies in their natural splendour is an important part of that protection.
Continue reading Do the skies need our protection?
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.
Continue reading Stories in the stars / Pride in our hearts
When looking towards the centre of our Milky Way Galaxy, we can catch sight of many beautiful objects in the sky.
M8 (the Lagoon Nebula) and M20 (the Trifid Nebula) are just two of the notable objects that can be seen with a large pair of binoculars or a telescope.
Continue reading Nebulae of the night skies
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:
Continue reading Eyes on the skies — August
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.
Continue reading The long road to Lake Superior Provincial Park’s 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.
Continue reading The Lake Superior Provincial Park Dark Sky Preserve