The Canadian Space Agency came up with a novel idea -- put an aurora web camera in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories as we enter the winter darkness season and not only give everyone a front seat to one of the best places to watch the Northern Lights, but take some time lapse video to really show off nature's beauty.
Here is one such video it recently captured, courtesy of Wired Magazine:
The project was launched on Sept. 20 and is a five-year educational program designed to raise awareness of the science of the Northern Lights. It's partnership between the University of Calgary, the city of Yellowknife, Astronomy North and the Canadian Space Agency.
They wanted to get this set up before the anticipated solar sun spot maximum in 2013 -- sun spots go on an 11-year cycle and we are just coming off quite a minimum in 2008-09. Sun spots create geomagnetic storms which in turn, put on dazzling aurora displays.
Here are some important links:
- Aurora Max Main Page
- Live Camera (Only on when dark)
- Aurora Forecast
- Gallery Replay
- Aurora Max Twitter Feed (@auroramax) -- with live play-by-play Tweets when storms are visible. They also give an activity rating and you can see the chart of what those numbers translate too here.
There are plenty of other links on the main page, but it's embedded in Flash so I can't give you the direct URL, but just poke around there.
Here are some of the recent photos Wired posted, courtesy of the Canadian Space Agency, the University of Calgary and Astronomy North. (Guessing these phtoos are from Yellowknife, but the middle one looks awfully populated, so that might be Calgary?)