It's rare to get a glimpse of stunning Northern Lights in Alberta, and even more so at Calgary and Edmonton's low latitude. But last night the dancing aurora put on a brilliant show for people in both cities.

Starting around 10:30 p.m. Sunday evening, whisps of green were spotted directly overhead. The colour quickly intensified and dazzling bright green light danced in the sky for a couple of hours.

Check out some photos captured by Calgarians and Edmontonians and posted to Twitter:

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  • Great show of the #northernlights in #yyc tonight.

  • Aurora over the city of #yyc!

  • I get the impression I was not the only person watching the Northern Lights over Calgary last night?? #wearenotalone

  • Beautiful northern lights tonight! Here is a pic from our backyard in Calgary.

  • Even with bright moon light and city lights one could still observe the Aurora Borealis over Calgary 10:30pm Sept 30.

  • Northern lights in Calgary tonight #offthebucketlist

  • Aurora borealis, better known as northern lights, currently visible in #YYC. #beautiful

  • Northern lights seen from northern Edmonton!

  • Captured this shot of #auroraborealis over #yyc tonight. Beauuutiful!

  • Northern Lights over Fort McMurray.

  • Northern Lights over Fort McMurray.

  • Northern Lights over Fort McMurray.

  • Northern Lights over Fort McMurray.



Why do the Northern Lights appear to dance and shift in the sky? Howstuffworks.com tells us:

All of the magnetic and electrical forces react with one another in constantly shifting combinations. These shifts and flows can be seen as the auroras "dance," moving along with the atmospheric currents that can reach 20,000,000 amperes at 50,000 volts. (In contrast, the circuit breakers in your home will disengage when current flow exceeds 15-30 amperes at 120 volts.)

According to Travel Alberta, Northern Lights are most typically spotted in Alberta from September through April. The farther north you travel, and the less light pollution around, the more likely you are to see them.

And, yes, Northern Lights can be very hard to capture on film, especially in a city. Big props to Calgary's Matthew Brucker for shooting these incredible pictures.

For more information and email alerts for Aurora Borealis over Alberta, sign up at Aurora Watch.

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