Jun 19, 2012
Aurora in Canada
An aurora is a natural phenomenon wherein lights are displayed in the sky, particularly in places with high latitudes such as in Arctic and Atlantic regions.
Auroras appear shimmering and sheer neon lights that blow in the wind.
In the northern latitudes, the light display is called Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights, which was named after Aurora, the Roman goddess of dawn and Boreas, the Greek term for north wind. These auroras may light up the northern horizon as a greenish flame or a faint red glow.
The southern equivalent is called the Aurora Australis or the Southern Lights. This type of aurora resembles the Northern Lights but the appearance may change as the northern auroral zone changes.
What causes an Aurora ?
Auroras are caused by a collision of solar electrons with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere. The charged particles crash on oxygen and nitrogen atoms, which are directed by the Earth’s magnetic field in the atmosphere.
The electrons stimulate the atoms in the atmosphere and this phenomenon results to the magnificent light show we know as aurora. The occurrence of aurora depends on numerous factors such as solar activity, time of day, season, sun rotation and the Earth’s magnetic shield.
When and Where can an Aurora be found ?
Aurora Borealis can be found from late November to March within the Northern Lights zones, or places with latitudes of 65 to 72 degrees. Ideal viewing conditions include crisp, clear and cloudless skies with minimum light and this light display may last from minutes to several days depending on the regions.
So if you want to view the northern lights, then you can visit Alaska, Denmark, Scotland, Canada, Greenland, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and Sweden.
The most reasonable way to see the Southern Lights is to take a trip to Antarctica. However, the light display cannot be seen from October through February, because the continent experiences 24-hour sunlight during those months. However, the southern lights are also evident in southern latitudes, including New Zealand, South America and Australia.
Canada’s Aurora Borealis
The people in Canada are very fortunate for they can view the Northern Lights in their region. The lights are better in Canada than anywhere else in the world because the Aurora Borealis is focused around the Magnetic North Pole, which arises through Baffin Island in Canada’s Arctic.
Residents who have seen the light show never get tired of watching it while the people who have not gotten a glimpse of it should really try it out for themselves. Seeing the Aurora Borealis is definitely a memorable experience.
The Northern Lights can be seen all year round in Canada but the best time for viewing is during the fall and winter seasons, wherein the lights are longer. The glistening curtain-like lights appear frequently in regions at the more northern latitudes of Canada.
The viewing of the Northern lights is one of the tourist attractions in Canada.
Guided tours are frequently offered in northern communities such as Whitehorse, Yellowknife, Flin Flon, Yukon and the Northwest territories of Canada. So the next time you stop by Canada, do not forget to get a glimpse of the Northern lights and witness the breathtaking and magical enchantment of nature.
You can view live and past auroras here : http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/astronomy/auroramax/connect.asp