Here’s how you can maybe, possibly see the northern lights near Calgary this weekend

There’s a few reasons why astronomy enthusiasts keep tight-lipped about their aurora borealis predictions.

One, saying it’s going to happen means it won’t (or so the superstition goes). Two, sightings are notoriously hard to predict, requiring a perfect recipe of solar activity to be visible. Three, conditions can change rapidly, and no one wants to overpromise and under deliver.

So let’s just say, according to the latest data (seen here and here), this weekend looks encouraging.

“We are coming into a more dense solar wind, and we are in a region of a somewhat faster than normal solar wind speed,” said Eric Donovan, professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Calgary.

“That combination … has the likelihood of giving us good aurora on Saturday night, Sunday night and Monday night.”

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