While the northern lights are completely random, astronomy admirers can look to the sky with confidence when they make their next appearance.
Many Manitobans experienced the fear of missing out Tuesday morning, waking up to learn they missed a beautiful green light show. Gord Tulloch, Vice President of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Winnipeg Centre, wants to help people catch the next one.
"It is very random when the aurora will come," Tulloch says. "It is very unusual to have a display that fantastic. I have been out doing astronomy and have has my entire night of astronomy ruined by the fact that the northern lights were amazing but of course, the consolation price is you get to watch an amazing northern lights show."
Jimmy Demchuk, who recently has gotten into photographing northern lights, says he was driving on a highway when he spotted them, hurrying home to get his camera.
"It was just a good night for everybody that day," Demchuk says. "You just have to hope for the best."
Tulloch missed out on seeing the lights in person, but he did enjoy them over breakfast.
"I have a camera that is pointed upwards 24/7 so I got to see them the next morning while I was drinking my coffee," Tulloch says, saying he never misses the action.
For the average person, a camera and internet access will do. He says there is a website from the United States that can give people a good idea of when charged sun particles could come to Earth's atmosphere, becoming northern lights as it hits oxygen and nitrogen, nothing to whistle at. He also recommends following a local group, Manitoba Aurora and Astronomy.
When heading out, Tulloch says to go north of Winnipeg, to dark spots, to see the lights the best. Popular spots include Birds Hill Park and Oak Hammock Marsh, but he cautions, saying crowded areas in the dark are dangerous when others are around. When you get there, he says to turn off your vehicle's lights and use a slow camera shutter speed.