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Feb 4, 2022

12 min. read

Night Lights

Manitobans hit the jackpot when it comes to the aurora borealis. With the Earth’s magnetic pole directly north of the province, the northern lights can be viewed all year round—although winter and early spring are peak times, thanks to longer nights.

New to aurora chasing? Join the Manitoba Aurora and Astronomy group on Facebook. Formed in 2020, the group helps amateur sky-watchers interpret satellite data to determine prime nights for light viewing. “The night sky can change quickly,” says Justin Anderson, who co-founded the group with Ryan Lucenkiw. “We stay up to date with people who understand the data. Members across the province also post when the aurora is out.” Once you’ve tracked down the glowing sky, try to snap a few photos. An aurora chaser for four years, Brandon resident Anderson says smartphone cameras are so advanced now that they have the capability of capturing its beauty to share with all your followers.

A reminder to always live in the moment, National Look up at the Sky Day is April 14th. Take some time this day (and every day) to observe the world around you. To help you understand what you’re looking at, try the Canadian Space Agency star finder, as well as apps such as Star Chart and the kid-friendly Solar Walk.

A person standing under the milky in the night sky.

Twinkle, Twinkle

Plan fresh-air adventures this spring for after dark

Though not a designated Dark Sky Preserve, Whiteshell Provincial Park delivers excellent stargazing. The park’s West Hawk Lake is in a millions-years-old meteorite crater.

Replace your usual evening stroll with a Winnipeg Ghost Walk, a night walking tour combining history and supernatural tales of the city’s most haunted buildings.

Why tee off at dawn when you can do some team-building after sunset with a glow golf tournament at Lorette Golf Course? There’s music and refreshments along the course, too.

An image of a starry sky with a man standing in front of it.

The Dark Side

When the sun goes down in Winnipeg, the fun comes out

Put aside your golf bag and tee off at U-Puttz Amusement Centre to get your glow on. The 18-hole glow-in-the-dark mini putt features dolphins, sharks, pterodactyls and a brontosaurus—you may never want to return to a traditional golf course again.

Replace your bowling shirt with some white and fluorescent gear to get glowing over a night of black light party bowling at Uptown Alley. Challenge of the night: Beat your top bowling score when the lanes are aglow and loud jams are pumping.

Be prepared to add a telescope to your shopping list after attending a Saturday or Sunday show at the Manitoba Museum’s Planetarium. You’ll leave utterly in awe of the planets, constellations and celestial activity just a few light years away from us.

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