Spectacular Northern Lights display over Metro Vancouver last night (PHOTOS)

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Near clear skies allowed one local photographer to capture last night’s spectacular display of Northern Lights.

Natasha Wheatley, who first moved to Vancouver from the UK in 2005, photographed the rare appearance in what has been called as a KP-6 event – a measure on the KP scale that predicts the location of the aurora borealis’ southernmost edge. A KP-6 display is needed to be viewable from Vancouver while a KP-9+ event can be seen as far south as Texas and Florida.

Wheatley’s first encounter with the Northern Lights was in 2010 at the remote arctic town of Bettles, Alaska. Ever since, she has been mesmerized by the lights and is part of a team of ‘aurora hunters.’

This is not the first time within the past year that the lights have been seen and photographed from Vancouver. The Northern Lights are currently highly active and have reached the peak of a 11-year activity cycle. An increase in sun spots and solar storms has made the occurrence much more frequent from fall 2013 to spring 2014. However, the peak of the current cycle (known as Solar Cycle 24) will be the smallest and weakest in more than 100 years.

Hovering over downtown Vancouver and the North Shore mountains.

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Image: The Aurora Hunter

Peeking over Cypress Mountain from Jericho Beach in Vancouver.

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Image: The Aurora Hunter

An “Aurora alley” in Burnaby.

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Image: The Aurora Hunter

All aboard the “Aurora Train,” Vancouver.

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Image: The Aurora Hunter

Aurora in the distance from a Burnaby street.

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Image: The Aurora Hunter

Barnet Marine Park, Burnaby.

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Image: The Aurora Hunter

About the author

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Kenneth Chan is Vancity Buzz's Deputy Editor and Social Media Manager. He covers stories pertaining to local architecture, urban issues, business, retail, economic development, infrastructure, politics or anything that makes a difference in the lives of Vancouverites. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]vancitybuzz.com

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  • Kiran Kan

    omg that looks amazing! take me with u arora hunter!

  • John Doe

    Nice, but not sure if any of those photos were “spectacular”…

  • Jamie Ball

    Nice, I captured some aurora from Vancouver a while ago too..


  • jessica

    it is if you live in vancouver

  • Deanna Dean

    I saw them last night from Stony Plain but couldn’t get a shot. Thanks for sharing yours.