SPRING AURORA: APR TO MID-MAY

First there was Winter Aurora viewing tours, then Autumn Aurora viewing tours were added, then late Summer Aurora viewing tours and now, the most exciting of all, SPRING AURORA VIEWING TOURS

What makes Spring Aurora Viewing possible? The answer is LOCATION. Some very basis information about the Aurora and darkness:

  • Electrically charged particles from the Sun are blasted out from the surface of the sun all the time. The particles travel on solar winds all over the Universe. Many solar winds come to the earth and enter our north and south magnetic poles to collide with atoms in our atmosphere to create the phenomenon known as the Aurora. This activity continues on an ongoing basis throughout the year
  • The reason we cannot see the Aurora in the Spring and Summer is that we do not have enough darkness (the days are too long). The further north a destination is, the sooner it gets long periods of daylight and very short periods of darkness (if darkness at all)
  • The Aurora forms ovals or rings around the northern and southern parts of the earth (Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis). Being under these Ovals gives one the best opportunity to view the Aurora. Interestingly to note, the Aurora Oval can get much wider when the geomagnetic activity (causing the Aurora) gets stronger. In such a case, the Auroral Oval expands towards the Equator (southward for the Aurora Borealis and northward for the Aurora Australis)
  • This brings us to LOCATION. Fort McMurray is located under the southern edge of the Auroral All other Aurora destinations are significantly further north. The result is that Fort McMurray has darkness much longer than the other destinations during the Spring and as such the Aurora can be viewed later into the year
  • darkness (www.theweathernetwork.com):
    • May15: sunset at 21:36 and darkness at 22:39
    • Alta-Can Aurora Tours only conducts tours during times when the Moon is not an obstacle to viewing the Aurora (Aurora viewing tours during the New Moon Cycle)

How much Auroral activity is happening during April and May?

Prof. Douglas Hube*: It is widely acknowledged that, based upon long-term statistics, the highest frequency of occurrence of auroral displays occurs close to the time of spring equinox (late March) and autumn equinox (late September). Statistics gathered over many decades regarding the monthly frequency of occurrences of geomagnetic storms (strong auroral activity), indicate the month of March to have an average of 34 occurrences, with the months of April and May only slightly lower with 28 each.

(*Prof. Douglas Hube: Past President of the Astronomical Society of Canada, George Moore’s award for excellence from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Asteroid 1982QB4 named ‘Hube’ by the International Astronomical Union, etc.)

 

2015 Spring Aurora Tour Dates:

  • April 10-13
  • April 17-20
  • April 24-27
  • May 08-11
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