northern lights ontario

Rare and dazzling display of Northern Lights just illuminated Ontario skies

The Northern Lights appeared over Ontario last night, the result of a severe geomagnetic storm that rolled past Earth on Sunday evening, painting our planet's night skies with colourful auroras that were visible across much of the province.

A Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) event was recorded at approximately midday on Friday, when plasma and magnetic fields erupted from the Sun's corona on the heels of a strong solar flare.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center states that the resulting geomagnetic storm started just after 1:30 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, eventually reaching level 4 of 5 on NOAA's space weather G-scale.

The CME event brought aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, much farther south than typical latitudes as the cloud of solar plasma passed by the planet.

Mirroring the solar flare, social media has similarly erupted with photos of the event captured from locations across Ontario.

Scenes from northwest of London, ON look like something captured from an arctic tundra, with skies lit up in brilliant pink and green hues.

Another view from northwest of London shows more of these dazzling colours.

Skywatchers stayed up late in places like the shores of Lake Huron for the chance to witness the colourful display.

An airline passenger flying over Kitchener was treated to a rare sight out their window.

Southwestern Ontario got quite the show, but, unfortunately, Toronto residents missed much of the show due to overcast skies at the time of the solar storm.

Toronto and much of Ontario experienced a similar — if slightly less impressive — aurora borealis event almost exactly one month to the day earlier, resulting in a similar flood of otherworldly photos on social media.

Lead photo by

@jhungly


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