Northern Lights on Haida Gwaii

Northern Lights on Haida Gwaii

One of the most incredible experiences of my life was viewing the aurora borealis in my backyard on Haida Gwaii. I've always been drawn to the stars, starting when I was young with visits to the local library to rent the 1980 series Cosmos. 

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Summer stargazing.

Looking at the stars is one of my favourite hobbies. I'm always on the hunt for new stargazing spots with dark skies and a wide field of view. Vancouver Island is great for astronomers because it only takes a few minutes of driving out of town to get beautiful skies nearly devoid of light pollution. My favourite place to go is out Nanaimo Lakes Road to any of the powerline crossings. 

In this shot, the bright spot that you see is part of Orion the Hunter - and it's not a star. That's actually the Orion Nebula, a huge field of gas and stars that acts as a stellar nursery forming new stars. To the naked eye it looks like a fuzzy star, but through a telescope you can see the shape of the nebula - although still in shades of grey. If you get a kid to look through a scope though, they will most likely see blues and purples. The ability of our eyes to pick up subtle colours quickly deteriorates with age.