Starting tonight, the world-wide web will have a new window on the Universe when the AuroraMAX online observatory begins streaming Canada's northern lights live over the Internet.
The website will also include an image gallery with still photos and movies from previous nights.
"Armchair skywatchers everywhere can now discover the wonder of the northern lights live on their home computer screen," says CSA President Steve MacLean. "We hope that watching the dance of the northern lights will make you curious about the science of the sky and the relationship we have with our own star, the Sun."
Auroras occur as charged particles from the Sun collide with gases in Earth's upper atmosphere. The launch of AuroraMAX coincides with the beginning of aurora season in northern Canada, which generally begins in late August or early September and ends in May. Aurora enthusiasts will be able to follow AuroraMAX through solar maximum, the most active period of the Sun's 11-year cycle, which should produce more frequent and intense auroras on Earth. Solar maximum is currently expected in 2013.