Burst of energy from the sun to create spectacular northern lights across Canada - InfoNews

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Burst of energy from the sun to create spectacular northern lights across Canada

A brilliant show of the aurora borealis near Yellowknife, N.W.T. is shown in the night sky on Thursday March 8, 2012. A intense burst of energy from the sun is heading towards Earth and is expected to make for spectacular conditions to see the northern lights across Canada.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Bill Braden
January 09, 2014 - 1:31 PM

REGINA - A intense burst of energy from the sun is heading towards Earth and is expected to make for spectacular conditions to see the northern lights across Canada.

Ruth Ann Chicoine (SCHICK'-qwen) with the Canadian Space Agency says a spot on the sun exploded Tuesday in what is known as a solar flare and sent a coronal storm cloud our way.

Such storms collide with particles and gases, such as oxygen and nitrogen, in the Earth's atmosphere to create the northern lights.

This storm was expected at around 3 a.m. EST this morning, but Chicoine jokes that it appears to be taking the panoramic route to Earth.

She says a nationwide alert has been issued, meaning even southern areas could see the northern lights tonight if the storm hits as hard as predicted.

She says there hasn't been a northern lights phenomenon like this in a year or two.

Sky-watchers who don't want to go out in the cold or can't get to a dark enough area, can depend on AuroraMAX — a partnership between the University of Calgary, the City of Yellowknife, Astronomy North and the Canadian Space Agency.

It live streams the northern lights from Yellowknife on the websites www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/astronomy/auroramax/connect.asp and http://astronomynorth.com/auroramax

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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