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North Shore Morning

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News & Information

News and information, interviews, weather, upcoming events, music, school news, and many special features. North Shore Morning includes our popular trivia question - Pop Quiz! The North Shore Morning program is the place to connect with the people, culture and events of our region!


What's On:
Lutsen 99er

Lutsen 99er is coming up on June 26

The Lutsen 99er is an ultra-marathon mountain biking event ridden on a variety of trails and roads in and around Lutsen. The race is back after being cancelled last year due to the pandemic.

North Shore Morning host Mark Abrahamson was joined by race director Peter Spencer to learn more about how the 99er will look this year.


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Northern Sky: June 19 - July 2

Northern Sky by Deane Morrison
June 19 – July 2, 2021

Summer is officially settling in. The summer solstice arrives at 10:52 p.m. on Sunday, June 20. At that moment the sun reaches a point over the Tropic of Cancer, and ends its annual journey north. Then it reverses and starts heading south again. Slowly. When the sun is near a solstice, it moves at glacial speed. It seems as though the sun is at its maximum height, and the days are about as long as they get, for two months centered on the summer solstice. In fact, the word “solstice” comes from the Latin for “sun standing still.” On that day the Earth will be lighted from the Antarctic Circle up to the North Pole and beyond to the Arctic Circle on the night side of Earth.

On June 24th, we get the last of this year’s three supermoons. This moon rises at 9:33 p.m., about eight hours after the moment of fullness. It may not look perfectly round, but it’ll be close to Earth and quite bright. It travels the night sky in Sagittarius, sitting right at the juncture of the lid and the handle of the Teapot of Sagittarius. 
On July 2nd, Earth reaches aphelion, its farthest distance from the sun. Earth orbits more slowly when it’s farther from the sun, which means that as I speak, we’re slowing down.  

This time of year, the stars and planets get barely six hours to strut their stuff. Venus gets much less; it shines through the sun’s afterglow, very low in the west-northwest, for barely an hour before setting. In the east, Saturn, and then Jupiter, rise around midnight. Saturn is in Capricornus, the sea goat, and Jupiter has moved into Aquarius, the water bearer.  
At nightfall, you’ll see a brilliant star high in the south to southwest. This is Arcturus, the brightest star in the kite-shaped constellation Bootes, the herdsman. Below Arcturus we have Spica, the only reasonably bright star in Virgo, the maiden. Low in the south is the S-shaped body of Scorpius. Its most salient feature is Antares, a gigantic red star at the scorpion’s heart. Just east of Scorpius is the Teapot of Sagittarius. 

Finally, a recent article in Astronomy magazine reminded me of a story I heard a long time ago. A reporter was covering a meeting of astronomers—where, I don’t recall—but there was, as usual, a room where lots of graduate students were standing by poster displays of their research. The reporter saw one who had a small table by him, and on it was a jar of dill pickles. So the reporter asked, what have dill pickles got to do with astronomy? And the grad student explained that the vinegar in the pickle brine was based on acetic acid, and his group had detected acetic acid in space. Well, now lots of organic molecules have been detected in space, including amino acids, the building blocks of protein, and precursors of DNA. And Astronomy magazine just reported that scientists have found another one. 

Ethanolamine, an essential component of the membranes that enclose our cells, has been found in a cloud of gas and dust just 390 light-years from the center of the Milky Way.

This gets at the question of how life arose on Earth and perhaps elsewhere. Was life seeded from space? Seeded in the form of essential molecules that were synthesized in space, including ones like ethanolamine, which could have assembled themselves into membranes that encapsulated and protected the other essential molecules by forming little protocells? I’m going to stick my neck out and say this question won’t be resolved any time soon.


The University of Minnesota’s public viewings of the night sky at its Duluth and Twin Cities campuses have been curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, see:

Duluth, Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium:

Twin Cities, Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics:

Check out astronomy programs, free telescope events, and planetarium shows at the

University of Minnesota's Bell Museum:

Find U of M astronomers and links to the world of astronomy at:


Superior National Forest Update

Superior National Forest Update - June 18

Steve Robertsen, education and interpretation specialist with the Superior National Forest, gives us the latest news from the SNF.



North Shore Health Care Foundation Update - Valerie Eliasen

North Shore Morning host Mark Abrahamson talks with North Shore Health Care Foundation Executive Director, Valerie Eliasen for the monthly NSHCF Update.



Pride Celebration 2021 is on!

Cook County Pride Celebration returns for 2021.

The Cook County Pride Committee today announced that Pride celebrations are returning for
2021. This year’s theme, “Celebrate in Solidarity,” highlights the joy of embracing and affirming
those we love after the long darkness of the pandemic.

Please join Cook County citizens, business owners, families, clergy members, public servants,
artists, and elected officials on Saturday, June 26, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.

Starting from the Harbor Park, this condensed event will feature a short march, speakers from the community, live music,
and joyful socializing. All community members are cordially invited to celebrate together and
show support for the LGBTQ+ community.

Those attending the event are asked to follow all laws, treat each other with respect, and use
appropriate language. Some in the community cannot receive the vaccine for health reasons, so
masks are requested.

Pride month commemorates the Stonewall Riots in 1969, where LGBTQ+ New Yorkers rose up
against unfair and discriminatory laws. Ever since, LGBTQ+ people have rallied in June to
protest government indifference to the AIDS epidemic, Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell, marriage bans,
myriad anti-transgender policies, and more.

Pride is not only a rallying call for LGBTQ+ people and their allies, but a celebration of joy in the midst of the struggle for equality.

Anyone with questions, as well as those hoping to organize next year’s expanded events, are encouraged to contact Nora Huxtable at


Jess Koski

Notes From Reservation River - "Top Ten"

Writer Jess Koski is a Grand Portage tribal member and dispatches his “Jessays,” from his home on the shore of Lake Superior, in Chi Oni Gaming.


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Wolf Ridge ELC - Peter Harris agrees, plants are blooming earlier this year

It's not your imagination.  Things really are blooming earlier this year.  Naturalist and Educator, Peter Harris from Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center talks with North Shore Morning host, CJ Heithoff about our early bloomers.


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The Retrievers - Amy Addy talks about protecting our pets from the heat

Amy Addy with The Retrievers and Missing Pets in the Northland, talks with North Shore Morning host, Mark Abrahamson about protecting our pets from the heat.


Superior National Forest Update

Superior National Forest Update - June 4

Superior National Forest Update is a weekly feature on WTIP's North Shore Morning.
Joanna Gilkeson is a Public Affairs Specialist with the Superior National Forest.


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GM Parks Update

North Shore Morning host CJ Heithoff talks fireworks, construction, and music in Harbor Park with Grand Marais Parks Director, Dave Tersteeg in this monthly parks update.