Alberta aurora watchers treated to stunning Northern Lights display

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.

University of Alberta's Aurora Watch plots geomagnetic activity for the Edmonton region on Sept. 18, 2023.


University of Alberta’s Aurora Watch plots geomagnetic activity for the Edmonton region on Sept. 18, 2023.


Courtesy: Aurora Watch

Watchers were not disappointed.

Story continues below advertisement

Northern Lights were reported near Fort Saskatchewan, Drayton Valley, St. Albert and Sturgeon County.


Aurora Borealis seen in Sturgeon County, Alta., on Monday, Sept. 19, 2023.


Courtesy: Rhonda Mayers

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

Aurora Borealis seen in Spirit River, Alta., on Monday, Sept. 19, 2023.


Courtesy: Tonya Davison

The lights are created by charged particles that emanate from the sun, move through space and hit the Earth’s atmosphere.

Story continues below advertisement

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.


Aurora Borealis seen in Spruce Grove, Alta., on Monday night.


Courtesy: Victoria Lang


Aurora Borealis seen in Sturgeon County, Alta., on Monday night.


Courtesy: Rhonda Klaszus


Aurora Borealis seen in St. Albert, Alta., on Monday night.


Courtesy: Myranda Clapp


Aurora Borealis seen east of Edmonton, Alta., on Monday night.


Courtesy: Miles Maldaner


Aurora Borealis seen east of Edmonton, Alta., on Monday night.


Courtesy: Miles Maldaner


Aurora Borealis seen in Hiller Reservoir, Alta., on Monday night.


Courtesy: Matt Melnyk

Northern Lights in Alberta.


Aurora Borealis seen in Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., on Monday night.


Courtesy: Janice Malowany


Aurora Borealis seen in Marlboro, Alta., on Monday night.


Courtesy: Madison Rhodes


Aurora Borealis seen in Hiller Reservoir, Alta., on Monday night.


Courtesy: Matt Melnyk


Aurora Borealis seen in Grande Cache, Alta., on Monday night.


Courtesy: Haleigh Mines


Aurora Borealis seen in Lone Pine, Alta., on Monday night.


Courtesy: Brogan Bridgeman


Aurora Borealis seen in St. Albert, Alta., on Monday night.


Courtesy: Angela Paik

— with files from Karen Bartko, Global News

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *