Updated: Apr 6, 2022
So, I'm hoping you're not simply thinking about seeing the northern lights. While you're at it, I hope you do some photography. And if you're not sure where to begin, visit our forum; I'd be happy to assist!
Saskatchewan residents and those in northern areas of the world should expect increased sightings of the famous aurora borealis starting of the end of December this year. The northern lights, like they do every year, are more visible throughout the long winter nights.
The aurora borealis is caused by the interaction of solar wind with the Earth's magnetic field. The responses of charged particles from the sun interacting with other components in the atmosphere are what we see as vibrant colors dancing in the sky.
Green and red lights are usually caused by oxygen reactions, while purple lights are caused by the presence of nitrogen.
The rise is also tied to the sun's solar cycle, in which changes in the sun's magnetic field cause increased activity on its surface (while also switching its magnetic poles). The appearance of sunspots as well as an increase in solar wind activity are examples of these processes.
The current solar cycle is already four years away from solar maximum (when the sun is more or less covered with sunspots). However, it has been speculated that this solar cycle may even be moving ahead of schedule.
Best places to see them in Saskatchewan skies
As is customary for the arch, the far north east will be the best.
Those who have always desired to see the aurora borealis have already had opportunity to observe them all throughout the province, as we were hit with a few geomagnetic storms in October and November. The latest sightings of the northern lights have been confirmed by reports and photographer's testimonies in just about every location outside of cities.
Still, for people who are new to town, the following are some of the best types of getaway spots:
All dark sky preserves: protected places dedicated to preserving and protecting the night by limiting or eliminating all forms of light pollution.
Especially if you're doing photography, in front of lakes and renowned structures. And, to be honest, if you're going to view the northern lights, you'll need to invest in the necessary equipment to catch them - but that's a matter for another discussion.
Saskatchewan has a lot of open fields.
According to solar forecasts, more solar activity will mean more of these sights, so Saskatchewan Aurora hunters should have a lot of opportunities in the coming years :) I for one, am a little skeptical there will be any significant different on average from year to year - but fingers crossed.