This weekend is lit: a chance to catch the aurora borealis

No stranger to the northern lights, Alberta may get a dazzling light show this weekend.

Starting Friday night, Mother Nature’s best light show has a better chance of being seen.

“The reports right now look like there could be something on its way here, in fact it might arrive tonight or tomorrow night,” says Frank Florian, director of the planetarium and space sciences at Edmonton’s Telus World of Science.

“It’s from a CME, or coronal mass ejection, which happened on the sun about two days ago, where the sun kind of burps and blows off part of its atmosphere.”

If that off gassing or burp hits Earth’s magnetic field and reacts a certain way, it produces the aurora.

Watch below: Some videos from Global News’ coverage of northern lights.

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Aurora arc dazzles Alberta skies overnight

One does not need a fancy setup to view the northern lights, just a clear sky free from light pollution or clouds, and maybe some warm clothing as it may take a while to start.

“The thing about auroral displays is that even though we can predict we might get a good display, we can’t tell people when to go outside,” Florian says. “You can go outside and stay outside till two in the morning and not see anything, and then around 3:30 in the morning, it kicks in with this incredible display.

“It’s not one of those things you can just go outside for a few minutes and expect to see nature’s best light show, you need to be patient and give it some time.”

The forecast for this weekend may see cloud and precipitation in parts of the province, including Edmonton, however, there are also some clear breaks which may yield beautiful results.

If you happen to catch any glimpse of the aurora this weekend and have a camera handy, we would love to share your photography with everyone. Feel free to send some shots to edmontonphotos@globalnews.ca.

 

 

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