Strong solar storm sets off dazzling Northern Lights show over Metro Vancouver (PHOTOS)

Dec 19 2017, 10:52 am

Last night’s private fireworks over Coal Harbour weren’t the only surprise light show over Metro Vancouver’s night skies.

Local nighttime sky gazers spotted the Northern Lights above the North Shore Mountains between midnight to just after 1 a.m.

The event was a KP-6 level aurora borealis, a measure on the KP scale that predicts the southernmost edge of where the lights can be seen. While a KP-6 event can be seen from Vancouver, a KP-9 event can be seen as far south as Florida.

There have been higher occurrences of the Northern Lights above Vancouver’s night skies over the past few years, most recently in February 2014. According to NASA, the aurora borealis is currently highly active as it has reached the peak of its 11-year activity cycle. However, the peak of the current cycle will be the smallest and weakest in more than 100 years.

The Northern Lights from Kitsilano Beach. Photo captured by ckristo.
Northern Lights Vancouver
Image: @ckristo via Instagram

From Richmond’s Iona Beach Regional Park, looking towards the North Shore Mountains. Photo captured by Ian Wong at 1:08 a.m.
Northern Lights Vancouver Aurora Borealis
Image: Ian Wong

The Northern Lights from Howe Sound. Photo captured by Lijuan Guo at midnight.
Northern Lights Vancouver Aurora Borealis
Image: Lijuan Guo

Featured Image: Ian Wong