northern lights forecast toronto

Solar flares increase chances of seeing the northern lights near Toronto

The northern lights may appear over parts of Toronto in the next few days thanks to solar flares.

Two of 17 solar eruptions spotted blasting from a single sunspot are barrelling toward earth, according to Science Alert. The flares peaked at 1:35 p.m. on March 30, NASA noted.

As frightening as that sounds the eruptions, which have merged into a "cannibal coronal mass ejection," hit the earth's magnetic field, not the planet.

The collision creates a geomagnetic storm and the increased possibility of northern lights.

This happens because the "earth's magnetic field gets compressed slightly by the waves of highly energetic particles, which ripple down magnetic field lines and agitate molecules in the atmosphere, releasing energy in the form of light to create colorful auroras in the night sky," according to Science Alert.

The chance of seeing the colourful lights varies, depending on weather conditions. According to the Weather Network Aurora Borealis might have been visible as far south as Washington state, Toronto, and parts of Atlantic Canada, but cloud cover blocked the sky early Thursday morning.

Western Canada, however, was treated to fantastic displays early Thursday morning.

But there still may be a chance to see the lights in the Toronto area over the next few days, according to CBC. NASA also has a page dedicated to space weather with a cool Aurora Forecast map showing the probability of seeing the lights.

If the skies are clear, a place away from city lights such as the Torrance Barrens Dark Sky Preserve would be a perfect spot to see the northern lights.

Lead photo by

Richard Gottardo

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