Colours in the cosmos: where the beauty of nature meets the science of the cosmos

“The heavens wheel around you, displaying to you their eternal glory and still your eye is upon the ground.” – Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy

Many of us live in areas afflicted by light pollution, which prevents us from gazing at the heavens whirling around us.

However, most of our northern and many other parks afford visitors a spectacular view of the cosmos, rich in stars and the Milky Way.

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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, 2023:

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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 2023:

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Let out your inner explorer, artist, and space traveler with a Discovery Kit

Have you ever wanted to explore the great outdoors, create a masterpiece, or go to space?

You’re in luck!

Our FREE Discovery Kit rental program is designed to help you do all those things while visiting a park.

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Stars over Killarney 2023: colours in the cosmos

“Stars over Killarney” is an annual festival celebrating the connection between the natural heritage of Killarney Provincial Park and astronomical knowledge.

This year’s theme is “Colours in the cosmos: a celebration through paint and pixels of the beauty that surrounds us.”

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Stories in the stars / Pride in our hearts

Today’s post comes from Will Morin, Professor of Indigenous Studies at the University of Sudbury and Bruce Waters, 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 — April

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.

For those of us in Ontario, April is that transition month between winter and spring weather. The snows start to melt away, the lakes start to open up and, by month’s end, the first buds may appear on the trees.

Here are our astronomical highlights for April 2023:

Continue reading Eyes on the skies — April

Eyes on the skies – February

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 month of February brings the promise of both warmer weather and clearer skies. So grab a cup of tea or hot chocolate, bundle up, and spend the day outdoors.

And when the Sun goes down and the stars begin to shine, don’t forget to head back out to enjoy the season’s beautiful night skies!

Here are our astronomical highlights for February:

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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