The Night Sky

Northern Lights on the Bruce Peninsula

The Night Sky Like You’ve Never Seen It: A Dark Sky Preserve

Light pollution is so severe in most cities that an observer can see fewer than twenty of the millions of stars in the night sky. The current generation of urban Canadians is growing up without ever seeing the Milky Way.

Get ready for a new experience!

Once you get a few km north of Wiarton or a few km south of Tobermory, light pollution drops to near zero and you can see the night sky the way our ancestors knew it.

The Milky Way is clearly visible in all its glory and all the constellations can be found. In the most remote locations on the Bruce Peninsula, stars are visible right down to the horizon. The August meteor showers and the northern lights are a spectacular show.

Northern Bruce Peninsula has been designated a Dark Skies Community and the two national parks are now Dark Sky Preserves. Streetlights are few and have been replaced with Dark-Sky-compliant models that only shine light downwards.

While you’re on the peninsula, don’t forget to look up!

Must See While On The Peninsula: Bayside Astronomy! 

The Bayside Astronomy program will run again in 2015. The program runs every weekend in July and August offering guided stargazing, complete with telescopes, at the Lion’s Head Marina viewing platform. Weekday programs at other locations may also be offered. Check out www.bpba.ca or pick up a copy of the Bruce Peninsula Press for more details.

Again This Summer: Stargazing Aboard The Chi-Cheemaun

The program will run every night (except Wednesdays) from Friday evening, July 31 to Monday evening, September 7. The program takes place on the last sailing south from South Baymouth to Tobermory, with viewing starting at 10:30 PM and lasting until 11:30 PM (so that getting to and from vehicles is not an issue).

Participation in the program on the “Star (upper) Deck” is free with the purchase of your ferry passage. There is even a special rate for walk-on passengers who are making a round trip from Tobermory to take in the program.

The on-deck viewing program includes a laser pointer & iPad enhanced sky show and the shared use of image stabilizing binoculars to see interesting faint dark sky objects and features on the Moon’s surface.

People should dress warmly to be on deck (winter jacket would be appropriate)There are some fleece blankets which can be borrowed for use during the program.

On evenings when the viewing is not possible, there is an indoor AV presentation of useful stargazing apps and dark sky issues.

People can check the Chi-Cheemaun’s Twitter page for updates on the program daily: https://twitter.com/ontarioferries.

Dark Skies Viewing Platform at Lion’s Head Marin