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Thursday, November 20, 2019 may provide a rare meteor outburst – but only for a few minutes. The annual Monocerotid meteor shower normally produces about 1 or 2 meteors per hour – and that’s if the sky is dark with no moon. It’s not something some skywatchers would even bother to put on the calendar. In the last couple of decades, however, astronomers have begun to understand meteor showers in...
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November brings several minor meteor showers and a chance to see all five planets visible to the unaided eye. There’s also a rare transit of Mercury and a spectacular conjunction of the two brightest planets. Discover it all in the Manitoba Museum’s Manitoba Skies update for November 2019, contributed by Science Communicator Leigh McKinnon.
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September Skies

Astronomy

September is a great month for stargazing. The nights are long enough that it gets dark at a reasonable time, and yet we can still see the summer constellations and Milky Way in the early evening. See what celestial sights are in store this September at the Manitoba Museum’s Manitoba Skies sky update.
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This summer I spent some time doing what badgers do: digging. What was I digging for? Plant roots. Usually when I collect plants for the Museum I take only a few stems of the above ground portion so that the plant doesn’t die. But this time I needed roots: long ones. I thought that digging up roots would be pretty awful but the soil was sandy, the weather co-operated and,...
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The Sky Update for August 2019 is posted. You can find it at the Planetarium’s current night sky page. You’ll learn about pioneering astronomer Maria Mitchell, find out how to see the planets, and learn how and when t see the annual Perseid meteor shower!
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Water-saturated bogs and burning hot, cactus-covered sand dunes are not the kinds of habitats that you would normally expect to find near each other. But on a recent trip to Canadian Forces Base Shilo, I was surprised to find just that! In July, I was able to visit this restricted area to collect plants as part of a research project. We went to a part of the base that I...
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Now that the weather is nice and warm, you’re probably seeing pollinators flying about. The main insect pollinators in Manitoba in order of decreasing abundance are: bees, flies, butterflies, moths, wasps and beetles. If you’d like to tell them apart, there are a few key features you need to look for. First off, count the number of wings. Are there four or just two? What is the texture like: membranous,...
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The loss of biodiversity and plight of wild pollinators has been all over the news lately. If you’re interested in doing something to make life easier for these creatures, you might want to consider making your garden more pollinator friendly this year. Pollinators have three basic needs: food, nesting/breeding habitat and shelter. Food The best thing you can do is grow at least some native plants in your yard. Native...
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Post by Debbie Thompson, Diorama and Collections Technician Dioramas are incredible works of “science meets art”.  Planning the layout, construction and content often takes years, with a tremendous amount of research and collaboration with curators, diorama artists, carpenters, and electricians.   Volunteers are also a vital part of the making of dioramas; they take on the mammoth task of hand painting individual leaves.  But what happens after the fanfare of the...
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Post by Carolyn Sirett, Conservator If you want to see the blood pressure rise in a conservator, display really big, historically significant, breakable objects at least ten feet off the ground.   It’s the next phase in our Bringing Our Stories Forward capital gallery renewal project, and the conservation team has moved to treating artifacts for the Winnipeg Gallery set to open in the fall of 2019.  The objects going on...
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