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Aurora borealis (Northern lights)
The night skies of Fort Smith provide the venue for some of the most brilliant displays of aurora borealis in the world, due in part to the town’s proximity to the north magnetic pole. Our location is ideal for viewing the northern lights. On clear nights, the skies above Fort Smith glow with green, yellow, pink, and sometimes red dancing lights that brighten, dim, and simmer in an awe-inspiring show.
The aurora borealis streak the sky all year, but they can be difficult to see during the late spring and early summer because of our long daylight hours. August through the end of March is the best time for aurora viewing in Fort Smith.
The northern lights are the focus of hundreds of stories and legends in many cultures. The Dene people of the North say that if you whistle, you can bring the lights down and make them dance. For many people, seeing them is a spiritual experience.
Scientifically, the aurora phenomenon is the result of charged particles from the sun entering the earth’s atmosphere. When the particles hit the earth’s atmosphere their energy turns into light and the northern lights are created.
The aurora borealis are so visible in Fort Smith that an international scientific project set up a cosmic activity monitoring station in town. But you don’t need any special equipment to see the northern lights. Just look up at the sky on a clear night after the sun sets: the northern lights fill the Fort Smith sky.
Fort Smith, Northwest Territories, X0E 0P0, CANADA
Phone: (867) 872-8400, Fax: (867) 872-8401
Email: Town of Fort Smith
Office hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30AM - 12:00PM, 1:00-5:00PM
Closed weekends and statutory holidays
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