Parts of north-central Alberta were awash in hues of purple, pink, turquoise and green Monday evening, in a magnificent display of the Northern Lights.
The University of Alberta’s AuroraWatch group noted very high geomagnetic activity in the Edmonton area between 9 p.m. and midnight MST.
The group said there was a greater than 70 percent chance of aurora appearing at that time.
Observers were not disappointed.
Northern lights have been 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 aurora sightings are likely.
The group also offers tips for better observing the Northern Lights:
- look north after dark
- just around midnight or before, it’s prime
- get out of the city to escape light pollution
The lights are created by charged particles that emanate from the sun, travel through space, and strike the Earth’s atmosphere.
PKBNEWS meteorologist Ross Hull said a coronal hole had developed in the sun. It’s a cooler, less dense region that can allow solar winds to escape more easily to Earth.
“As they move toward Earth, solar winds interact with our geomagnetic field (which protects our planet from such events) and these geomagnetic events have different levels of intensity,” Hull said.
The lights move because charged particles loop Earth’s magnetic shield.
— with files from Karen Bartko, PKBNEWS
© 2023 PKBNEWS, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.