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Aurora viewing tips

You don't need any special equipment to see auroras, just a healthy dose of enthusiasm! You can view them in two ways:

AuroraMAX – The Northern Lights, NWT

Canada's northern communities are treated to regular displays of the aurora borealis because they are located under the auroral oval. (Credits: Canadian Space Agency, University of Calgary, Astronomy North)

Viewing the northern lights in person

The closer you are to the North Magnetic Pole, the better your chances of being able to admire the northern lights. That said, they can also be seen in more southerly parts of Canada during periods of intense solar activity.

Generally, the aurora appears a few hours after sunset, when the sky is clear, and tends to become more intense around midnight. If you are lucky enough to get to see the aurora up north, here's how to get the most out of your observation night.


Viewing conditions

Viewing the northern lights on the Web

If you want to see the aurora borealis from the comfort of your home, you can! Simply go to the AuroraMAX observatory page.

The camera turns on automatically as soon as the Sun sets in Yellowknife during the aurora season, from August to May. Follow AuroraMAX on Twitter or Facebook to receive aurora alerts.

You can also watch the auroras on replay.

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