A time-lapse video caught by the Banff Sunshine Village Ski and Snowboard Resort webcam has garnered thousands of views and hundreds of shares on the resort’s Facebook page.
“They were just so strong that the webcam really picked them up,” communications and media manager Kendra Scurfield told Global News, adding it was the camera near the Standish chairlift.
Scurfield said the aurora borealis show was captured Monday night, explaining the resort cameras catch such lights fairly often.
“The northern lights can be seen about 100 days a year, but a lot of the times because of clouds, storms …you can’t really see them,” she said. “This is the time of the year when they tend to be quite vivid.”
Aurora intensity can be gauged by referring to the Estimated Planetary K index (Kp). The more intense a geomagnetic storm is, the higher the Kp value, which would indicate an increased likelihood of disturbances in the Earth’s geomagnetic field.
Those disturbances can have an impact on electrical grids, radio signals and spacecraft operations. Quite often, during periods of high Kp-index values, the aurora borealis (and aurora australis in the southern hemisphere) will dance intensely.
Another important aurora predictor is how easily magnetic energy can be transferred into Earth’s atmosphere. The more negative the Bz value is (the north-south direction of the interplanetary magnetic field), the higher the chances the northern lights will dazzle.
The website spaceweatherlive.com offers real time Kp and Bz readings.
With files from Global’s Margeaux Morin