Earlier this week the aurora borealis lit up the skies north of Metro Vancouver and it looks as though there could be a repeat performance Wednesday night.
After a solar flare on Oct. 9 belched forth a cloud of plasma headed straight for Earth, the resulting green lights were seen by many Vancouverites on Monday (Oct. 11).
As it turns out, the show isn’t exactly over with the aurora still being visible this evening (Oct. 13) low to the horizon according to the University of Alaska Fairbanks -- that is if you can find a spot not shrouded in cloud cover.
The Space Weather Prediction Center maintains a constantly updated aurora tracking webpage as well and offers tips for viewing the lights.
Location, location, location!
Much of being able to see the aurora comes down to where you’re viewing the lights from. In general, you are more likely to see an aurora if you are at a high latitude, closer to the north pole. However, there is a catch to this. The earth's magnetic poles are not exactly in line with the geographic poles, so the latitude of interest would really be the magnetic latitude.
To learn more about how to calculate your nearest magnetic latitude check out the Space Weather Prediction Center’s website.
Who knows, you might get as lucky as one Vancouver photographer who got a spectacular shot of the northern lights glimmering above the northern horizon earlier this week!