Heavenly light show

B.C. residents from Vancouver to Kelowna were treated Saturday night to one of the most powerful and colourful northern lights displays in years.

A Lake Country resident was one of the many who captured video of the weekend’s night sky light show. Those living as far south as Seattle and Michigan even reported seeing the aurora.

According to the Okanagan Royal Observatory, the lights usually appear with intense colours closer to the north. While there is nothing out of the ordinary to explain why the lights were visible so far south, it was an exceptional sighting.

Olaf Lutz, with the observatory, says the bright dancing lights of the aurora are actually collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the Earth's atmosphere. The lights are seen above the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres, and the best time for viewing is "magnetic midnight" – when the magnetic pole in question is in between the observer and the sun.

The lights of the Aurora generally extend from 80 kilometres to as high as 640 kilometres above the Earth's surface.

If you managed to capture the lights this past weekend, send us your photos for the Castanet gallery to [email protected]


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