Eyes on the skies — 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 2022:

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Stars over Killarney 2022 recap: an Ontario Parks event 4.5 billion years in the making

Stars over Killarney is an annual festival celebrating the connection between the beauty of Killarney Provincial Park with an element of astronomical knowledge.

This year’s theme, “From the Earth to the moon, Mars, and beyond!” celebrated the connection between the wondrous geology of Killarney and the study of the moon, Mars, and asteroids.

Take a look at all the fun that took place this year:

Continue reading Stars over Killarney 2022 recap: an Ontario Parks event 4.5 billion years in the making

Eyes on the skies — October

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.

October is a month of transition as the last few warm days depart and we prepare ourselves for winter.

But cold weather does not mean we should abandon the great outdoors. On the contrary, the peace and serenity found at this time of the year make a trip to any park all the more enjoyable.

Here are our astronomical highlights for October, 2022:

Continue reading Eyes on the skies — October

The splendor of Terra Firma meets the majesty of the heavens: Geology and planetary science in action

Today’s post comes from Dr. Gordon (Oz) Osinski, Professor of Planetary Geology/Earth and Planetary Materials Western University [1] and Bruce Waters, former educator at the McLaughlin Planetarium and founder of the Killarney Provincial Park Observatory. [2]

Have you ever come to a beautiful beach and marveled at the spectacular pebbles scattered before you?

They seem to be of every colour, shape, and size imaginable.

And if you look up close with a magnifying loop, you may even see additional details like fossils and crystals!

Those pebbles can tell the trained eye an incredible story of how they formed, what has happened to them since, and how they ended up in front of you. It’s a story that can be billions of years in the making and involve incredible forces of nature.

Continue reading The splendor of Terra Firma meets the majesty of the heavens: Geology and planetary science in action

Health benefits of dark skies

Today’s blog comes from Senior Marketing Specialist Sarah McMichael. 

My most memorable camping memory didn’t come from a crackling campfire, a panoramic lookout, or a stunning sandy beach.

It happened at 3:00 am at Lake Superior Provincial Park.

As I stumbled out of my tent for a late-night bathroom break, I noticed something different about the sky above me. There were stars.

A LOT of stars.

Continue reading Health benefits of dark skies

Featured constellations: a water bearer, flying horse and southern fish

In last month’s featured constellations, we discussed Sagittarius, Capricornus and Delphinus.

In our September edition, we discuss Pegasus the flying horse (moose or baseball diamond), Aquarius the water bearer, and Piscis Austrinus the southern fish.

Continue reading Featured constellations: a water bearer, flying horse and southern fish

Eyes on the skies — September

Welcome to the Ontario Parks “Eyes on the skies” series. This series covers a wide range of astronomy topics with a focus on what can be seen from the pristine skies found in our provincial parks.

Many people consider September to be the finest month of the year to enjoy Ontario’s outdoors.

The bugs have all but left and the daytime temperatures are cooler, making the weather ideal for strenuous activities such as hiking or canoeing. To top it off, the leaves begin their beautiful transition through the colours of fall.

With the much shorter days, the nighttime skies are full of celestial splendours that we hope you will enjoy discovering in this edition of “Eyes on the skies.”

Here are our astronomical highlights for September, 2022:

Continue reading Eyes on the skies — September

Stars over Killarney 2022: from the Earth to the moon, Mars and beyond!

Stars over Killarney is an annual festival celebrating the connection between the beauty of Killarney Provincial Park with an element of astronomical knowledge.

This year’s theme is “From the Earth to the moon, Mars, and beyond!”.

Come join us on our exploration of how the Earth’s geology helps us to understand the moon and planets and, conversely, how a knowledge of our solar system can help us to unravel the Earth’s history and its possible future.

Continue reading Stars over Killarney 2022: from the Earth to the moon, Mars and beyond!

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 2022:

Continue reading Eyes on the skies — August