Residents in the Foothills may have a rare opportunity to view the Aurora Borealis tonight.

A strong geomagnetic storm has been predicted for Sept. 6-7, which means there's a good chance we could see the northern lights here in southern Alberta.

Dr. Phil Langill, Director of the University of Calgary's Rothney Astrophysical Observatory, says while he can't guarantee a light show, conditions are lining up just right for one.

"I was looking at the sun yesterday with a solar telescope at the Observatory and there are some very large sun spots, and those are associated with some kind of material, energetic outflow from the sun. If that material can interact with the Earth's magnetic field it will give it a shake and particles will fall out of the field to the atmosphere, and cause a nice northern lights show for us people here down on the ground."

He shares although the Aurora will most likely be visible farther North, we'll only it this far South if the geomagnetic storm is strong enough.

"If there's a particularly large and energetic precipitation of particles, that brings the particles closer to the Earth's equator, which illuminates the air and allows people closer to the equator to see the visual display."

Langill encourages residents to head out into the M.D. of Foothills to view the aurora, and if you're not sure when to head out, there is a way to track how visible the light show is.

The Rothney Astrophysical Observatory has a camera that stares at the sky all night long, and it just so happens that it's very light sensitive.

"The northern lights show up very nicely on that camera, if anybody would like to have a look at the camera they just need to go to the observatory's website. If there's northern lights going on the camera will see it before anybody's eye will, so if people are monitoring the camera and they see some aurora activity happening that might be a clue for them to head outside and see what they can see with their eye."

To view the live stream of the camera click here.

Happy sky watching!

Questions, comments, or story ideas? Email us at [email protected]

More Local News

Anderson Says Provincial Pot Legislation Seems Rushed

Highwood MLA Wayne Anderson says the new cannabis legislation introduced by the Provincial NDP Government seems rushed. On Thursday, Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley set out legislation involving the…

Using The Town's Designated Tobogganing Hills

The Town of Okotoks is hoping residents will get active outdoors this winter and take advantage of their designated tobogganing hills. The areas are inspected for hazards but aren't groomed. Any…

Salvation Army Kettle Campaign Kicks Off

The familiar red kettles of the Salvation Army will be out and about again this Christmas season. Lieutenant Chad Cole says they're counting on the local area to be as generous as it has been in the…

Light Up Okotoks Road Closures

Downtown Okotoks will be filled with Christmas spirit Friday night for Light Up Okotoks. To accommodate the event a few road closures will be taking place. Elizabeth Street, McRae Street, and North…

Come Visit Us During Light Up!

Light Up Okotoks brings the Christmas spirit to town tonight, and there's plenty going on at The Eagle 100.9! We'll have a fire pit to warm up, free Eagle 100.9 cookies, McDonald's coffee. If you'd…

Alberta Government Announces Cannabis Legislation

The province has officially tabled its cannabis legislation. The proposed legislation involves both the sale of cannabis, as well as the purchasing, growing, and consumption of it. Under the…

High River RCMP Looking For Suspects

High River RCMP are looking to the public for help in locating two suspects that fled from the police on November 16th. At approximately 12:30 a.m., police came across a white early 2000’s Ford F-150…

One Shoe Box Makes A Big Difference

Shoe box collection for Operation Christmas Child Okotoks starts today. Every year the program from Samaritan's Purse collects donations of packed up shoe boxes from local families for children in…

Local Bakery Shows Support For Legion Through Poppy Themed Treats

A local bakery found a way to cater to peoples sweet tooth's while supporting the Okotoks Legion. In honour of Remembrance Day last week, 94 Take the Cake created special poppy themed baked goods…

Closures Along Southridge Bridge This Morning

Motorists can expect some temporary lane closures on the Southridge bridge this morning. Transportation crews will be out installing hanging Christmas Decorations along the bridge. The closures are…

Okotoks RCMP Respond To Possible Firearm Complaint At Local School

On Wednesday, Okotoks RCMP were dispatched to a local school due to a report of a student with a possible firearm. Police say they were able to locate the student in question and found a pellet gun.…

One Dead After Crash Near Strathmore

One person is dead after a crash near Strathmore yesterday. Shortly before 5:00 p.m. Strathmore RCMP responded to a two vehicle collision on Highway 901 West of Highway 817. After investigation…

Operations Centre Wins Project Of The Year Award

The Town of Okotoks Operations Centre has won the Alberta Public Works Association's Project of the Year award. On Tuesday, Nov. 14 Jeanette Austin, Executive Director, Alberta Public Works…

RCMP Remind Residents To Lock Doors After Attempted B&E

RCMP are investigating an attempted break and enter to an Okotoks residence last week. On November 8, around 3:00 p.m. police responded to a home in the Mountain Street area after a man attempted to…

Get Into The Christmas Spirit With Light Up Okotoks

Light Up Okotoks is ready to bring holiday cheer to downtown Okotoks. The event takes place Friday with a variety of activities and late night shopping to get residents into the Christmas spirit.…

Magic of Christmas Set to Spread Holiday Joy in the Foothills

Santa will once again be visiting homes in the Foothills with a sack full of gifts, thanks to the Magic of Christmas. Donna Cameron, Magic of Christmas Foothills Division Coordinator, says the Magic…

No Serious Injuries From Highway 7 Crash

According to Okotoks RCMP those involved in an accident on Highway 7 last night walked away with no serious injuries. Around 5:30 a two vehicle collision occurred on Highway 7 at 16 St. which tied up…

Chamber Ready To Celebrate Christmas With Business Community

The Okotoks and District Chamber of Commerce is looking forward to bringing the business community together to celebrate Christmas. Their annual Christmas Social will be taking place at the Lynwood…

Province Strengthens Impaired Driving Legislation

Although possession of marihuana will be legal July 1, driving high in Alberta will be still be illegal if a bill introduced in the legislature Tuesday is passed. Transportation Minister Brian Mason…

OkotoksOnline.com is Okotoks' only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Okotoks -Our Place in History

14 January 2017 10:00 am - 20 December 2017 5:00 pm

Okotoks Museum & Archives





“Gathering In” Fall/Winter Group Art Show

21 October 2017 11:00 am - 24 January 2018 5:00 pm

Lineham House Galleries 1906, Okotoks





Dewdney Presents: Arsenic & Old Lace

10 November 2017 7:00 pm - 25 November 2017 7:00 pm

Rotary Performing Arts Centre (RPAC), Okotoks





Granary Road Christmas Market!

17 November 2017 9:30 am - 23 December 2017 5:30 pm

Granary Road





Spirit of Christmas Art Show and Sale

17 November 2017 5:00 pm - 21 December 2017 5:00 pm

Okotoks Art Gallery





National Child Day

18 November 2017 12:00 pm - 19 November 2017 4:00 pm

Okotoks Public Library, Okotoks AB, Okotoks





Resume Building and Cover Letters - "Tailoring and Targeting!"

20 November 2017 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Vulcan Public Library, Vulcan





Login