If you are living in Canada or planning to visit soon, you certainly think about its wonderful and fascinating nature. Immense forests, mountains, ocean, wildlife, lots of snow, sun, rain, cold, bears, reindeer, orcas, loonies, wild salmon, beavers, skunks, squirrels, raccoons, the maple leaf, and of course, the Aurora Borealis (or Northern Lights).
Canada is one of the best places in the world to enjoy this spectacular phenomenon that nature offers. In fact, between 80% and 90% of the places located under the oval of the Northern Lights, and which are also terrestrial accessible, are here.
The popular northern lights can be seen practically in all the provinces of Canada. Of course, you have to get away from the tumult of the city and locate the strategic points. The most popular ones?
- Churchill, Manitoba.
- Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.
- Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador.
- Whitehorse, Yukon.
- Iqaluit, Nunavut
- Kuujjuaq, Quebec.
- Muncho Lake Provincial Park, British Columbia.
- Battle Harbor, Newfoundland and Labrador.
- Northern Saskatchewan.
- Dawson Creek, British Columbia.
- Fort McMurray, Alberta.
- Athabasca, Alberta
- Edmonton, Alberta.
- Moose Factory, Ontario.
- North Shore of Lake Superior, Ontario.
- Manitoulin Island, Ontario
- Torrance Barrens Night Sky Preserve, Ontario.
- Prince Edward Island National Park, Prince Edward Island
- Tobeatic Wilderness Reserve and Kejimkujik National Park, Nova Scotia.
Canada has the Aurora Boreal oval with higher geomagnetic force, so the brightness and frequency of this natural phenomenon is greater than in other parts of the world.
The Top one in the ranking (Churchill, Manitoba) has an average number of 300 nights a year on which the northern lights are seen! Incredible, eh? But…. How is an Aurora Borealis formed? An Aurora Borealis is formed by a reaction of particles influenced by solar activity and the characteristics and composition of the Earth’s atmosphere.
The luminescence characteristic of this event is due to an atomic excitation of the electrons contained in the magnetosphere, and specifically in the gas molecules reached by the electrons emitted by the solar radiation.
This show usually lasts 20 minutes; time in which the human eye can perceive a range of colors ranging from green to violet and red. This event is due to the burst of subatomic particles from the sun.
To understand this process, the concepts of solar wind, solar activity, and sunspot must be clear:
- What is a solar wind? It is a perpetual flow of particles, composed of electrons and protons nuclei of hydrogen, and alpha particles, emitted by the sun in all directions.
- What is solar activity? Solar activity is the set of movements and actions of the sun.
- What is a sunspot? It is an area of the sun that has a high magnetic activity and a lower temperature than the surrounding regions.
So, how is the aurora borealis formed?
The sun releases large amounts of ultraviolet rays, X-rays, radiation and high-energy currents of protons and electrons (this is what is called solar activity). These radiations and UVA rays are absorbed by the atmosphere. When the solar wind “blows”, it from a sunspot, then an Aurora Borealis occurs.
Awesome eh? If you cannot wait any longer to see an aurora borealis and want to be informed about the predictions we recommend you: Aurora Service. It is a page that informs you of the intensity of the northern lights.
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