It's a rare occurrence, but according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), people around cities across Canada will get a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, on May 14th and 15th!
The Northern Lights are caused by supercharged photons that interact with the elements in our atmosphere. Every so often, particles will penetrate the earth's magnetic field a little farther south to bring this spectacle to a wider audience.
If the skies are clear, be sure to look up tonight and tomorrow night for your chance to get a glimpse of the glow of the Aurora! This opportunity is rare.
Green sky reflections #yeg #aurora #Glowing #SpaceWeather #BeautifulWorld #NorthernLights #Stargazing #astronomy… https://t.co/sd00JpTU5j— Hugo Sanchez (@Hugo Sanchez) 1557851556.0
If you live in a big city like Toronto or Montreal, however, you might be out of luck. Instead, take a drive north and when you're clear of light pollution, take a look into the night sky.
Current OVATION map showing auroral activity worldwide #northernlights #aurora https://t.co/Xcsna4bDqm https://t.co/6Dp1Kh1709— My Aurora Forecast (@My Aurora Forecast) 1557864963.0
According to the CBC, NASA has this thing called a K-index that calculates the likelihood of seeing the Northern Lights on a 0 to 10 scale. A K-index of 4 or lower means that you'll be able to see the Lights in cities like Calgary. An even lower K-index is necessary to view the lights in cities at the latitude of Vancouver.
According to these diagrams from the NOAA, the lights may be visible across southern Quebec, including Montreal, on May 14th.
On May 15th, the lights will be more visible in western Canada. People in the suburbs north of Toronto may also be able to catch the glow of the Aurora.
Keep in mind that, as with the weather, these are just predictions. While it's certain that northern regions will get a dazzling display tonight, the farther south you are, the less likely it is that you'll see the Aurora.
To check out the complete Aurora forecast for tonight and tomorrow, click here!
For more information, refer to the CBC article on the potential Aurora sightings this week.
To recap: the Northern Lights will likely be visible around cities across Canada on May 14th and 15th.
Happy Northern Lights hunting, everyone!