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Here's how you might see the northern lights over Metro Vancouver this week

Sky-watchers, rejoice.
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If you missed Jupiter's once-in-a-lifetime display last week, you might have an opportunity to spot some sublime astral manifestations this week. 

If you missed Jupiter's once-in-a-lifetime display last week, you might have an opportunity to spot some sublime astral manifestations this week. 

Metro Vancouver sky-watchers may have a handful of chances to spot the aurora borealis in their communities over the new few days due to some stormy space weather.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s Space Weather Prediction Center has issued a G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storm warning for Oct. 1 to Oct. 4. 

On Sunday (Oct. 2) night, the auroral activity will be high. According to the University of Fairbanks (UAF), active auroral displays will be visible overhead from Inuvik to Thunder Bay, Ontario and down to places south of the border including Seattle, Chicago, and Boston. That means folks in Metro Vancouver will have the possibility to observe the green glow. 

The university's online aurora monitor map shows what regions the aurora's green glow will likely reach, as well as other areas where there is less of a possibility. Additionally, there is a brief description below the map of the aurora activity on that particular day. You can switch to other days to see the forecast, too.

Keep in mind, however, that the aurora might not appear a vibrant green to your naked eye. Instead, you might observe a greyish formation in the sky. 

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Photo via University of Alaska Fairbanks

On Monday, the northern lights forecast shows that activity is also expected to be high and active displays will be possible to view overhead in Vancouver, as well as the other areas that were viewable Sunday night.

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Photo via University of Alaska Fairbanks

Monday's auroral activity is expected to be "active" rather than high. The northern lights will be visible overhead "from Inuvik, Yellowknife, Rankin and Iqaluit to Juneau, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Sept-Iles, and visible low on the horizon from Vancouver, Great Falls, Pierre, Madison, Lansing, Ottawa, Portland and St. Johns."

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Photo via University of Alaska Fairbanks

Everything B.C. residents need to know about viewing the Northern Lights

Want to view the vibrant, dancing lights in all of their sublime, celestial glory?

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

Since clear sky and darkness are both essential to see aurora, the best time is dictated by the weather and by the sunrise and sunset times.

The moon is also very bright and can make it more difficult to view the aurora, so lunar cycles should be taken into account. Photographing the colourful manifestation may also allow you to see them more clearly, as well as produce their vibrant colour. 

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