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I'm headed to Calgary on Friday and Saturday in hopes of catching the aurora. Does anyone have any suggestions on places to go to better my chances of seeing it and photographing it?
Sean: I live in Calgary Calgary is a tough spot for northern lights. They have to be really strong to see them. I watch aurorawatch from U of Alberta and arora forecast from Alaska University and weather.ca (need clear nights) to find the likely times. I just looked at aurora foreast and its not predicting good opportunities. [But last night was not predicted to be good and it was ]
That said: my best locations, if the forecast is good on sky and aurora, I go to:
1) Hermitage road when its sudden, about 20km out of calgary and drive south - this is a spot where there aren't many lights
2) Drive toward Waiparus and stop at the benchlands - this is pretty good for low light.
3) And if you have lots of time, drive 3 hours west and north to Peyto lookout and get landscape and northern lights.I would only do this if the forecast was clear and the forecast for Northern lights was 4 or more on Aurora forecast at Alaska U.
4) Minnewanka Lake, just north of Banff would be a great spot too. From the dam, you can shoot north unobstructed.
If you really like Northern Lights, take a trip to Whitehorse or Yelloknkife. Even Edmonton is better.
The northern light band is centred on magnetic north. The peak areas are Fairbanks Ak, Dawson City YT, Yellowknife YT, Lynn Lake MB, etc. see http://www.gi.alaska.edu/sites/www.gi.alaska.edu/modules/local/auroraforecast/images/NorthAmerica_2.png
If you really want to see them this weekend fly to Yellowknife, if the skies are forecast to be clear.. i just checked and $500 return from Calgary.
But the clear sky forecast is better for Whitehorse.