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My Nikkel's Worth: Wasn’t that a light show?

Weyburn Review editor Greg Nikkel shared some photos and experiences from seeing the Northern Lights display on Friday night, while visiting family in the Maple Creek-Golden Prairie area.

I, along with much of the Northern Hemisphere, was astounded on Friday night to see the amazing show of the Aurora Borealis in the skies.

At the time, I was visiting at my brother’s place in Golden Prairie, which is a tiny place a half-hour drive north of Maple Creek in the southwest, as we were out to see my mom and dad for Mother’s Day.

I went outside and saw some Northern Lights starting up, so I took some photos and was amazed at the colours my camera could see but I couldn’t really detect with my eyes.

The sun was barely set and it was dark, but the purples and greens were visible when I took a time exposure photo.

Later, of course, the aurora got into full-colour mode, and there were greens, reds, oranges, purples – colours I’ve never seen so brightly before.

It wasn’t just in the north either, the aurora covered the full 360-degrees of sky going to a point overhead.

As I scrolled through some of the social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and X, there were posts literally from all over the world, many with the comment that this was the first time they had ever seen the aurora lights in the sky. And more amazing, the “aurora australis” lights from the Southern Hemisphere, with photos from Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania with equally bright amazing colours that I was seeing in rural Saskatchewan.

As I found out also, this was a Level 5 geomagnetic storm caused by a large solar flare, producing a light show that hasn’t been seen in many years.

One of the posts I saw was from the International Space Station, as they were able to view the phenomenon from up above, and it was easy to see why anyone and everyone with a camera was out there photographing this show in the sky.

I think with the proliferation of phone cameras, plus “real” cameras, and social media platforms, this was a unique opportunity to see views from around the world of what these lights looked like in Europe, in the U.S. and Australia with an amazing range of colour like I’ve never seen before.

I don’t know if there impacts on electronics or satellites as it was caused by a solar storm, but it was sure an experience to be outside to see the colours rain down and around us.