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'This was really magical': Metro Vancouverites capture jaw-dropping northern lights display

"Another unexpected dance in the Vancouver area."
A clear Vancouver weather forecast provided ideal conditions for viewing the northern lights in the Lower Mainland in places like Porteau Cove in May 2023.

Metro Vancouverites captured stunning images and time-lapses of the northern lights in the Lower Mainland. 

In one photo, the aurora's haunting green glow appears above a mountain range as it transitions into a vibrant fuchsia before fading into darker shades of purple.  The stunning manifestation is also reflected in the lake below, along with the dark mountains. 

Photographer InfiniteGrids shared the awe-inspiring image on social media, remarking that there was "another unexpected dance in the Vancouver area." The post indicates he was in Pitt Meadows to capture the display.

Vancouver photographer Jordan Leigh shared a timelapse on Instagram of an ultra-vibrant auroral display in Porteau Cove. 

"You could just about see the purple pillars of the lights with your bare eyes. This was really magical to photograph," he wrote, adding that the long streak of lights in the video was Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites. 

North Vancouverite Ryan Voutilainen also captured a perspective of the dancing lights, but noted that they were "very faint" and "not visible to the naked eye." He produced the image with his iPhone. 

Clear Vancouver weather provides ideal conditions for viewing the northern lights

Several other locals captured images and time-lapses of the stunning auroral treat.

Light pollution in large cities makes the aurora borealis difficult to observe, but not impossible, given the right circumstances. But your best bet for viewing that hypnotic green glow is up north or outside of the city.

Of course, when you do spot the northern lights, they likely won't appear green or any other colour. Instead, you'll see the arcing, milky manifestation moving in the sky. In order to capture that green glow, you'll need to use a camera with a longer exposure.

Find out more northern lights information and viewing tips with our comprehensive guide.