With both clear skies and a geomagnetic storm in the forecast, I headed north of the border to Saskatchewan. Grasslands National Park is a long ways from anywhere. During the day the landscape seems stark and desolate, especially after a very dry summer. But the real beauty of this park comes after sunset. It is one of the darkest places on the continent. With no sources of light pollution at all, the stars appear the same as they did to the Plains Indians hundreds of years ago. The aurora was already bright and colorful earlier in the evening. But at midnight after the moon set, the northern lights went insane. I've never seen such rapid motion before. If you could imagine a campfire with the flames rising upward and flickering on and off, that's what it looked like. Except instead of orange, it was green, and instead of it being confined to a fire ring, it filled the entire sky. I don't think any camera could fully capture it, it just has to be experienced.
- Kevin Palmer
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