Quebecers share dazzling photos of northern lights

·1 min read
Yoann Tardivel captured this image at Rivière-Ouelle in the Kamouraska region of Quebec on Sept. 4, 2022. (Yoann Tardivel/Facebook - image credit)
Yoann Tardivel captured this image at Rivière-Ouelle in the Kamouraska region of Quebec on Sept. 4, 2022. (Yoann Tardivel/Facebook - image credit)

Yoann Tardivel has been chasing northern lights for three years, and was thrilled to finally see them with his own eyes last Sunday in the Lower St. Lawrence region of Quebec.

"We were four photographers on the edge of the St. Lawrence River, and two hours after we set up a green light appeared and started dancing in the sky," he said.

"You could easily see them with a naked eye even with all the light pollution."

Quebecers from all over have been dazzled by the colourful waves taking over the night sky over the last week.

Sébastien Petit/Facebook
Sébastien Petit/Facebook

Some people have been trekking from other countries to see the aurora borealis, like Harmony Lereste and her partner, who came from France.

"I've had the chance to see northern lights during various trips, but it was his first time," said Lereste. "The lights were dancing in the sky like I've never seen before, it was as memorable of a night for me as it was for him!"

Paul Charbonneau, a physics professor at Université de Montréal, says the northern lights were probably especially bright last weekend because of a solar eruption.

"Those are largely random," he said.

Hugues Bergeron/Facebook
Hugues Bergeron/Facebook

But like a lightbulb plugged to an electric current, explosions on the sun project energy in the Earth's direction which excites the atmosphere, releasing light.

"In the case of northern lights, the power source is the sun," said Charbonneau.

"Then we get this crazy display."