Webcam brings Northern Lights to living rooms everywhere


Photographs of the aurora borealis can't really convey what it's like to be sitting in the woods, staring at a black, perfectly normal sky and suddenly begin to see quivering green tracers slither across it. The photos are proof that we're not just all tripping balls up here in the northerly latitudes, but if what you really want is the experience—or something resembling it—the Canadian Space Agency can help.

Their AuroraMax Live project* turns a camera on the skies above Yellowknife, Northwest Territories and sends the resulting images direct to your portal on the Intertubes. Right now, I'm looking at it, and all I see is an inky, star-speckled night, ringed by a few trees. But, frankly, not seeing auroras on demand is part of the experience. If you want to improve your chances of catching them, try checking around midnight, Mountain Time, or you can read the aurora forecasts. (Live filming starts at 10:00 p.m., Mountain, and video from the previous night replays starting at 10:00 am.)

If you want to be a lousy cheater, there's also a sped up montage from the previous night that you can view on the AuroraMax Gallery page.

The webcam will be active for five years, centered around 2013, when the current 11-year cycle of sunspot activity is expected to reach it's peak.

Via Wired, and Submitterated by Jen

*Maybe this is my lack of sleep talking, but I find the loop of nighttime forest sounds that plays on the home page of this site really rather soothing. It's missing a loon, though.