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Rare Northern lights dazzle Vancouver, Calgary, even New York

Did you see the Northern Lights Monday night? Many in North America got a rare look at the aurora borealis and the pictures are breathtaking.

VANCOUVER — Many in North America were treated to a rare sight of the aurora borealis as it lit up the sky Monday night. Incredible video and photos were shared online from those lucky enough to get a clear view of the lights, including those in Winnipeg, Calgary, and even Vancouver.

UBC astronomy professor Dr. Harvey Richer says Vancouverites have been able to see the Northern Lights before, but it is fairly rare, and conditions were perfect last night if you happened to catch it.

He says the aurora happens due to a powerful wave of negatively charged particles from the sun hitting the planet, creating a solar flare.


“You could see aurora as far south as New York City,” Richer said about the large scope of the show Monday night.

A local photographer was able to grab a rare time-lapse of the view from Vancouver.

Diego Rebello wrote, “Still can’t believe we could see Aurora Borealis from Vancouver last nigh!!!”


The solar flare, which caused all this, is expected to keep hitting the planet until Tuesday evening, and it could wreck havoc on the electrical grid, Richer says.

“There could be outages and things of that sort, but I don’t expect it to be a drastic event from this particular flare. A bigger flare, we could get more serious problems,” he explained.

It isn’t as rare to see them in the prairies, but still an incredible treat when it happens on a clear night.

Among those lucky enough to see the show away from the city lights was actor Pedro Pascal. The Game of Thrones star snapped a picture of his view while on location filming and posted it to social media to his 2.3 million followers.


Another round of auroras is expected Tuesday night, however, it may be disappointing as some areas are expected to see some cloud cover which could ruin the view.


“Tonight should be a night to see it. It’s not supposed to be clear in Vancouver, so you do need obviously clear skies, and no moon is also better,” he said.

“That may be the end of it,” he added.

The Mount Washington Observatory was able to track the Northern Lights from its vantage point in New Hampshire.

“For this shift currently on duty, it was everyone’s first time viewing them in person,” the Observatory wrote on social media.