Islanders will have their best chance of seeing the aurora borealis in a decade this evening thanks to a unique set of atmospheric circumstances.
“Because the current geomagnetic storm is expected to be quite intense, hopefully, we’ll get to see the northern lights even here and perhaps even further south,” says UVic astronomy lab instructor Karun Thanjavur.
For both professional and amateur astronomers in southern British Columbia, this is the Super Bowl of star gazing.
“This is something where I don’t need a telescope, I don’t need any equipment,” says Thanjavur.
“It’s just up there in the sky for all of us to enjoy and it’s accessible to everybody.”
“I’m just really excited that it’s clear skies,” says nighttime photography and astronomy aficionado James Younger.
“Clear skies make the biggest difference in viewing obviously because you can’t see it with the low clouds and it’s supposed to be clear tonight.”
Younger has been casing the night skies in search of magical moments for over a decade.
“About 14 years ago I photographed a meteor on Sombrio Beach and since I photographed that one meteor I realized I could photograph more meteors,” says Younger.
“So I followed meteor storms, eclipses.”
As for where the best viewing spots will be?
“So a dark spot and a clear view of the northern horizon away from city lights,” says Thanjavur.
So this evening make sure to take a look up at the night sky, because you might just be pleasantly surprised.