From the Big Bang to beyond: the astronomical origins of the universe – part 1

This post kicks off a four-part photographic journey into the history of our universe! Read on to explore the key events that led to the formation of our provincial parks and the natural world we live in.

Have you ever stared up into a starry sky and wondered “how did it all begin?”

Today we will discuss the origins of the universe, the evolution of galaxies and globular clusters, and conclude with a history of the first stars and supernovae.

Stay tuned for Part II where we detail how stars are born and live out their lives, Part III with the formation of the planets and our solar system, and finally in Part IV, we will discuss the future of the Sun and larger stars.

So let’s get started with our origin story!

Continue reading From the Big Bang to beyond: the astronomical origins of the universe – part 1

Eyes on the skies — May

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.

While spring “technically” begins in March, most of us living in cold climates tend to celebrate May as the true start to the season.

Here are our astronomical highlights for May, 2022:

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Celestial objects of interest in November

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?

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Tips for night sky photography

One of the best parts about camping at one of our parks is the breathtakingly clear night sky. These clear skies provide the perfect backdrop to see the wonders of our solar system sprawled out above you.

Seeing these magnificent skies is one thing, but being able to capture them adds a whole other level to the experience.

Here are our top tips for night sky photography: 

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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.

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

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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Astronomy for beginners

Learning about the sun, moon, stars, planets, and beyond is a rewarding experience that makes your park visit all the richer.

Being able to identify the stars and constellations brings a familiarity with the mysteries of the cosmos. Knowledgeable observers may even use the stars to navigate, just as our ancestors have for thousands of years.

But where to get started?

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