20 photos and videos of last night's powerful Northern Lights over Vancouver

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Image: ckristo / Flickr

A dazzling natural light show that lit up Metro Vancouver’s skies late Saturday night and into the early morning hours of Sunday was one of the most powerful and colourful Northern Lights displays in the region in years.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Sean McGee, a local stargazer, told Vancity Buzz. “Usually you need your camera to see it really clearly, but this time around you could see it quite brightly with your naked eye even from the city with all the light pollution.”

There was a cluster of green behind the North Shore mountains, which is normally the Northern Lights phenomenon that Vancouver experiences. But to the west of it, there was also a massive long kaleidoscope streak of white, pink, blue, and purple.

Of course, those who were further north and away from urban areas saw a greater intensity of the display, including over Howe Sound and Pitt Lake. The Northern Lights were also seen as far south as Seattle and Michigan.

Repeat shows could be produced again on Sunday night and Monday night as Earth is currently traveling through a part of the solar system that is high in magnetic energy. When solar energy interacts with elements in the Earth’s atmosphere, the colourful light show is often produced although it only reaches as far south as Vancouver a few times a year.

The skies over Metro Vancouver will be relatively clear on both nights.

Aurora Rising | What an amazing experience to see the aurora dance not only across from us, but above us as well. A little timelapse of our experience last night using 600 photos from two different angles. Wish the arc would have lasted a bit longer, but we’ll take all we can get We’ll be posting a bunch of photos from last night over the next couple of days! Hope everyone enjoys Mother’s day! Minor – Better Instincts #greatnorthcollective #beautifulbc #artofvisuals #pnwonderland #imagesofcanada #totescanadian #redditphotography #exklusive_shot #main_vision #ig_worldclub #igshotz #justgoshoot #photooftheday #ig_great_shots #world_shotz #night_shooterz #huffpostgram #longexposure #longexposureshot #amazing_longexpo #aurora #worldaurora #northernlights

A video posted by Karina & Amir (@vanexusphotography) on

Northern Radiance | This is the first of a few shots we’ll be posting in the next couple of days from last night’s aurora storm. While the lights danced away and were extremely bright for a few hours, it was the arc on the left that caught our attention. We’d never seen anything like it and while we’ve been trying to narrow down the candidates. Our best guess (thanks to some online help) is a Proton Arc, which is a rare form of an aurora arc. To the naked eye, it appeared as though it was a bright white beam of some sort, but after taking a test shot in the camera, we quickly discovered it was a spiral of colours dancing in the night sky. We would love to hear your opinions on what the colour streak on the left could be. #greatnorthcollective #beautifulbc #artofvisuals #pnwonderland #imagesofcanada #totescanadian #redditphotography #exklusive_shot #main_vision #ig_worldclub #igshotz #justgoshoot #photooftheday #ig_great_shots #world_shotz #worldaurora #aurora #auroraborealis #night_shooterz #huffpostgram #amazing_longexpo #ic_longexpo A photo posted by Karina & Amir (@vanexusphotography) on

  Northern Radiance | This is the first of a few shots we’ll be posting in the next couple of days from last night’s aurora storm. While the lights danced away and were extremely bright for a few hours, it was the arc on the left that caught our attention. We’d never seen anything like it and while we’ve been trying to narrow down the candidates. Our best guess (thanks to some online help) is a Proton Arc, which is a rare form of an aurora arc. To the naked eye, it appeared as though it was a bright white beam of some sort, but after taking a test shot in the camera, we quickly discovered it was a spiral of colours dancing in the night sky. We would love to hear your opinions on what the colour streak on the left could be. #greatnorthcollective #beautifulbc #artofvisuals #pnwonderland #imagesofcanada #totescanadian #redditphotography #exklusive_shot #main_vision #ig_worldclub #igshotz #justgoshoot #photooftheday #ig_great_shots #world_shotz #worldaurora #aurora #auroraborealis #night_shooterz #huffpostgram #amazing_longexpo #ic_longexpo   A photo posted by Karina & Amir (@vanexusphotography) on

  About last night (May 8th, Sunday 2am) #vancouver #vancity #vancitybuzz #porteaucove #auroraborealis #veryvancouver #lovebc #outsidebrazil   A photo posted by Gabriel Bombarda Barros (@gabrielbarrosphoto) on

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Kenneth Chan Deputy Editor & Social Media Manager at Vancity Buzz. He covers stories pertaining to local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation, infrastructure, and anything else 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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