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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Young Island skiers earn podium finishes at first Teck BC Cup of 2020

Saanich student-athlete earns two bronze medals in U18 girls category

West Shore parenting program tackles stigmas around raising teenagers

‘Many teens don’t feel like their parents have confidence in them,” says program coordinator

Oak Bay climate group meets Saturday

Group seeks public input to start the day

CRD awards $6.8-million Wastewater Treatment Project contract to Surrey company

Construction of the Trent Forcemain to begin in early 2020

Funds raised through off-road cycling event will help improve Central Saanich bike trails

Tripleshot Cycling Club presents $3,000 cheque to Nature Trails Society

VIDEO: The Victoria byelection leads a selection of today’s news stories

A selection of Greater Victoria top stories for Jan. 17

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

B.C. offers $5 million equipment loan program to help ailing forest contractors

Local politicians in Port McNeill and Campbell River says local economies are struggling

Vancouver Island distillery wins award for best Canadian rye whisky

Shelter Point cleans up at Canadian Whisky Awards

Clerk bruised, traumatized after armed robbery at Nanaimo liquor store

Few details on male suspect in Wednesday incident, says Nanaimo RCMP

One last blast of winter tonight for parts of the Island before temperatures on the rise

A snowfall warning is in effect Friday including east Vancouver Island.

POLL: Has the recent snow had an impact on your daily life?

Old Man Winter had Greater Victoria in his icy grip this week.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

Most Read