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Dancing Skies...A Northern Lights Spectacle!


These spectacular photos were taken in front of On The Rocks Guest Inn May 10, 2024 when we were so fortunate to witness the most surreal spectacle....the aurora borealis, commonly known as the northern lights. The northern and southern lights, which are usually confined to the Arctic and Antarctic, have generated awe and wonder for centuries. In Canada, the northern lights are important part of the cultural traditions and teaching of First Nation people. The Cree and Ojibway share the belief that the lights are “spirits of the ancestors celebrating life", reminding us that we are all part of creation.

According to Robert Massey, the executive director of the Royal

Astronomical Society, over the next few years, the northern lights might appear further south more regularly. The sun goes through an 11-year solar cycle where the flare activity level fluctuates. Cycle 25, the latest one, began in December 2019 with a solar minimum, a period when the sun is still active, but it's quieter and has fewer sunspots. We're now approaching a solar maximum, expected to occur in July 2025, which will be a time when there are a large number of sunspots and increased solar activity.

Massey explains that the solar events that cause auroras will become more common as we head toward the solar maximum.

The northern lights event that we witnessed here is the third severe

geomagnetic storm, following events in November 2021 and March 2023, since the new solar cycle began in 2019. It is expected that this activity will continue to ramp up to the peak next year.


So, keep your eye to the sky, come and witness this magical event from On The Rocks Guest Inn, where we are fortunate to be a part of Parks Canada 13 Dark-Sky Preserves. Dark-Sky Preserves are protected areas that make a special commitment to protect and preserve the night, reducing or eliminating light pollution in all forms. Put this on your must-do bucket list!



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