NEWS

Northern Lights Likely Visible Over Canada Friday And Saturday (PHOTOS)

09/12/2014 01:48 EDT | Updated 09/12/2014 01:59 EDT
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The northern lights are set to flash across the sky over Canada on Friday and Saturday after a series of solar events that took place throughout the week.

Auroras will be most visible over cities including Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg and Labrador City, and less clear on the horizon from Halifax and Vancouver, according to the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

northern lights map

Lights were already visible in North Bay, Ont. on Thursday night, according to AuroraMAX, a division of the Canadian Space Agency that monitors the phenomenon.

The lights are expected to be visible after two solar explosions blasted charged particles known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs) out of the sun on Tuesday and Wednesday, CBC News reported.

When those particles reach Earth's magnetic field, they can create spectacular light shows but also disrupt satellites, power grids and GPS navigation.

The NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center expects a moderate geomagnetic storm Friday and a stronger one Saturday due to the combination of both solar events.

York University professor Paul Delaney told CTV's Canada AM that satellites in Earth's upper atmosphere could be at risk, and that the phenomenon could result in GPS interference and dropped phone calls.

"We're talking about interference, not destruction of the signals," he said.

The best way to ensure you can see the northern lights is by keeping an eye on the KP index, which measures the amount of geomagnetic activity taking place in a three-hour period in a score from 0 to 9, according to the NOAA.

When the KP index is at 1, the northern lights may only be visible at higher magnetic latitudes, such as in northern Canada. When the KP index is at 5, they can be seen further south.

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Northern Lights Photos By Yuichi Takasaka