Tech & Science

Sask. northern lights almost max category index: aurora expert

Saskatchewan residents grabbed their cameras and headed outside after dark this week to catch a glimpse of the spectacular Northern Lights show.

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“The sky was just exploding,” said Cole Sawitsky. It just doesn’t feel real when you’re standing under the sky. “

“It was like a shower pouring down on me,” she added. It was totally breathtaking. There were almost all colors: purple, pink, blue, green, yellow, orange, red. Normally we only see green auroras there, but this removed all possible colors.

Aurora Chaser and researcher Dale Bohan says the northern lights fall into the KP index, similar to the storm index.

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The scale range is 0-9. The KP 003 light shows virtually nothing in the sky, but the 9 lights affect much of the northern and southern hemispheres.

“The peak on Friday was 8:00, one from the maximum,” says Boan. “So it only happens once or twice a year when the sun is very active. So it was exceptional.”

Boan said Aurora’s activity surged last year, with his Facebook page, Aurora Hunters, gaining thousands of members this week alone.

“Saskatchewan is a great place to see the Northern Lights. The further west you go, the harder it gets. In fact, Manitoba, Ontario and western Quebec are even better.”

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Boan says the best time to see the lights is after midnight, but you can still see them in the early hours.

“In darkness our eyes are less sensitive to color, often seeing very pale colors or even white. As time goes on, our eyes can start picking up colors.

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“It’s a really great experience and it’s different every time. So I tend to go out and take pictures and look at them over and over again, just because something amazing happens.”

Boan said the aurora forecast unfortunately doesn’t look very promising over the weekend, but that it can always change.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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