Welcome to Ontario Parks’ “Eyes in 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.
Are you going outside? Here are our astronomical highlights for June 2023:
The sun reaches its highest point in the sky on June 21 at 9:01 p.m.
This day is also known as the “Summer Solstice”, when we can enjoy the maximum amount of sunlight as the sun rises at 5:34 am and sets at 9:20 pm (from central Ontario) , which gives us almost 15 hours and 46 minutes. of light (see the March issue for more information on solstices and equinoxes).
In Canada, the summer solstice around June 21 is also National Indigenous Peoples’ Day, in recognition and celebration of the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of Canada’s indigenous peoples.
Sunrise and sunset times
Late sunsets in June give people the opportunity to enjoy spectacular sunsets.
|June 1st||June, 15||June 30th|
|Sunrise||5:38 am||5:34 a.m.||5:38 am|
The lunar phases for June are as follows:
Venus and the Moon on the evening of June 21. Image: SkySafari Pro 6.0
After several incredible months of exceptional viewing of Venus, the planet is finally ending its performance and inching closer to sunset.
This will be your last chance to get a good view of the planet.
No major meteor showers occur during the month of June.
Often, observers can see fireflies and, for a moment, believe they are seeing a meteor!
Although there are no large meteor showers, there are always fragments of one form or another of dust that fall to Earth. These “sporadic” meteors can often number up to 10 per hour on a given night in a dark, moonless sky.
As always, the best way to prepare for a meteor shower is to:
- rest a lot
- wear sunglasses for at least three days before showering (to maximize your eyes’ night vision ability)
- set up a lounger and sleeping bag (use some kind of dew cover or your bag will end up quite wet)
- drink a lot and eat something
And the best of all is enjoying the experience with good company.
A meteor shower occurs when Earth enters the debris field of a comet that long ago passed around the sun.
These pieces of dust and sand, often no larger than a thumbnail, enter Earth’s atmosphere and burn up high above the ground.
Learn more about summer meteor showers.
Featured constellations: heroes and snakes.
This month we will discuss the constellations of Hercules, Ophiuchus and Serpentines.
Ophiuchus and Serpens remind us of the ancient Greek legend about the origin of modern medicine.
Despite all its impressive tasks and great power, the Hercules constellation is actually one of the smallest in the sky.
We also talk about constellations. Noondeshin Bemaadizid (the exhausted bather), who appears among the stars of the Greek constellation of Hercules, and faint (The Sweat Lodge), which appears among the same stars as the Greek constellation of Corona Borealis.