Friday, August 30th 2019, 12:25 pm - Canadians in the southern half of the country will have the opportunity to view the northern lights this weekend
Those who live in northern parts of our country are accustomed to the sights of the northern lights, but there will be an opportunity this weekend for people even south of the Canada-U.S. border to catch a glimpse of the aurora borealis.
As a result of recent geomagnetic storm activity, the photogenic sights will be widely visible across much of the southern half of Canada and as far south as several northern U.S. states, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), who is forecasting the light show for Saturday and Sunday.
The most optimal time to view the aurora is a couple hours before or after midnight under a clear, dark sky. Whether or not Canadians in the southern parts of the country will see it depends on their location and weather conditions at the time of the displays.
Visibility of the phenomenon will extend as far south as Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, New York, Vermont and Maine, according to the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Map of aurora borealis expected this weekend. Photo: Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
The aurora borealis occurs in both hemispheres as a result of electrons from the solar wind impacting with Earth's atmosphere. They are visible around the planet's magentic poles and are most commonly viewed as a bright green, but can also be displayed in blue or pink, among other colours.
The last time the northern lights were seen in southern Canada and northern U.S. was in March, also set off by a geostorm.