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Q&A

How commonly can you see Aurora Borealis with the naked eye on Vancouver Island?

+2
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This r/auroraporn post is titled Atlin Lake, British Columbia.

This post never stipulates the locality, and merely says "Vancouver Island".

  1. Is it usual to see aurora borealis with the naked eye in Vancouver Island?

  2. How far north must you travel to do so?

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2 answers

+3
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It happens but it is not that common. However it did happen there just a couple of days ago.

Even Metro Vancouver area witnesses the natural phenomenon a few times per year despite light pollution and a relatively southern location. The odds of seeing the northern lights in Vancouver are not that high.

https://rove.me/to/vancouver/northern-lights

UBC astronomy professor Dr. Harvey Richer says Vancouverites have been able to see the Northern Lights before, but it is fairly rare, and conditions were perfect last night if you happened to catch it.

https://www.citynews1130.com/2021/10/12/northern-lights-rare-aurora-show/

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+1
−2

Vancouver island is fairly large, and extends from about 48°N to 51°N. I wouldn't say that auroras are common at these latitudes, but they will be visible occasionally.

A photograph of an aurora from Vancouver island is certainly plausible without any additional information.

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