The fantastic Aurora Borealis display over Kalamalka Lake beach captured through an ultra wide angle lens and 20 second exposure on May 28th, 2017. (Jeremy Broad)

Northern lights expected above parts of B.C. this Labour Day weekend

U.S.-based Space Weather Prediction Center says Vancouver area to get a chance on Sunday

This weekend is bringing good news for sky watchers as U.S. forecasters call for the northern lights to be visible over Vancouver and other parts of B.C.

The Space Weather Prediction Center based in Boulder, Colo., says auroral activity will be high on Saturday from Yellowknife, Edmonton and Winnipeg, with low visibility above Seattle.

On Sunday, the atmospheric phenomenon should be visible in Greater Vancouver.

The aurora borealis is created by electrons colliding with the upper reaches of the Earth’s atmosphere.

According to the centre, the electrons are energized through “acceleration processes,” which allow them to follow the magnetic field of the planet down to the polar regions. There, the electrons collide with oxygen and nitrogen atoms, increasing the atoms’ energy. It’s as those atoms relax back down to lower energy states that light is formed.

ALSO READ: Northern lights chasers in Canada discover new type named ‘Steve’

The auroral forms are made of many tall rays that look much like folds of cloth, the centre said. At night, these rays can form arcs that stretch from horizon to horizon. Close to midnight, the arcs often begin to twist and sway, as if being blown by the wind.

The light show typically appears anywhere from 80 to 500 kilometres above Earth’s surface.

Of course, that’s only if the skies are clear. The best way to view the night sky is to find a high-up spot as far away from artificial lights, such as from street lamps and buildings, as possible.

ALSO READ: Sky gazers to flock to Manning Park Resort’s for its first foray into astrotourism


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Saanich mayor begins living roof planting process

A garden will top Mayor Fred Haynes’ new home on Prospect Lake

Wet conditions put the brakes on Vancouver Islander’s speed record bid

Sooke car enthusiast Sean Driver heading back to Bonneville in October

Sealand was much more than killer whales, says ex-employee

Former Sealand trainer revisits Sealand of the Pacific in talk

CAMERON: Sometimes you’ve just got to do the right thing

Practical jokes and the art of being fast on your feet

T.W. Paterson column: McLean brothers’ murderous rampage ended quietly

“Shoot! you son of a ——-, shoot! I’m not afraid of an ounce of lead.”

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Most Read