Parts of northcentral Alberta were awash in purple, pink, teal and green hues Monday night, in a gorgeous display of aurora borealis.
The University of Alberta’s AuroraWatch group plotted the geomagnetic activity in the Edmonton region very high between 9 p.m. and midnight MST.
The group said there was a higher than 70 per cent probability of auroral displays at that time.
Watchers were not disappointed.
Northern Lights were reported near Fort Saskatchewan, Drayton Valley, St. Albert and Sturgeon County.
AuroraWatch provides real-time monitoring of geomagnetic activity in the Edmonton area and offers a free email alert service when auroral displays are likely.
The group also offers tips on how best to watch aurora borealis:
- look north after dark
- just around or before midnight is prime
- get out of the city to escape light pollution
The lights are created by charged particles that emanate from the sun, move through space and hit the Earth’s atmosphere.
Global News meteorologist Ross Hull said a coronal hole developed in the sun. It’s a cooler, less dense region that can allow solar winds to escape more easily towards earth.
“As they move towards earth, the solar winds interact with our geomagnetic field (which protects our planet from such events) and these geomagnetic events have different intensity levels,” Hull said.
The lights move because the charged particles buckle Earth’s magnetic shield.
— with files from Karen Bartko, Global News
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