Canadian space agency beams northern lights over Web

Sep 20, 2010
A display of the northern lights in Sweden in 2003. Skywatchers can turn their gaze to a computer for a glimpse of the northern lights: the Canadian Space Agency on Monday launched an online observatory streaming the aurora borealis live over the Internet.

Skywatchers can turn their gaze to a computer for a glimpse of the northern lights: the Canadian Space Agency on Monday launched an online observatory streaming the aurora borealis live over the Internet.

"Armchair skywatchers everywhere can now discover the wonder of the northern lights live on their home computer screen," Canadian Space Agency president Steve MacLean said in a statement.

"We hope that watching the dance of the will make you curious about the science of the sky and the relationship we have with our own star, the sun."

Auroras occur when charged particles from the Sun collide with gases in Earth's , resulting in a ribbon of lights dancing across the night sky.

The launch of the website (www.asc-csa.gc.ca/auroramax) coincides with the beginning of aurora season in northern Canada, which generally begins in late August or early September and ends in May.

Aurora enthusiasts will be able to catch the most frequent and intense auroras when the Sun reaches the most active period of its 11-year cycle, called solar maximum, in 2013.

In addition to nightly broadcasts of the , the website will also explain the science behind the phenomenon and offer tips for seeing and photographing auroras.

As well, it offers an image gallery with photographs and videos of the auroras from previous nights.

Explore further: France raises heat on decision for next Ariane rocket

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Northern Lights in the classroom

Sep 01, 2010

A new model created by Lancaster University space scientist Dr Jim Wild is bringing the experience of the Northern Lights into the classroom.

Colliding auroras produce an explosion of light

Dec 17, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- A network of cameras deployed around the Arctic in support of NASA's THEMIS mission has made a startling discovery about the Northern Lights. Sometimes, vast curtains of aurora borealis collide, ...

Northern lights research enters final frontier

Jan 12, 2007

An international team of scientists -- including physicists from the University of Calgary -- will begin gathering the most detailed information yet about the ever-changing northern lights, as a multi-year research project ...

Recommended for you

Winter in the southern uplands of Mars

4 hours ago

Over billions of years, the southern uplands of Mars have been pockmarked by numerous impact features, which are often so closely packed that they overlap. One such feature is Hooke crater, shown in this ...

Five facts about NASA's ISS-RapidScat

4 hours ago

NASA's ISS-RapidScat mission will observe ocean wind speed and direction over most of the globe, bringing a new eye on tropical storms, hurricanes and typhoons. Here are five fast facts about the mission.

User comments : 0