This story originally appeared on Travelandleisure.com.
Right now we all need a little zen, along with a good dose of wanderlust. Luckily for you, me, and everyone else, that’s exactly what this new live stream from Canada provides.
Livestreams have popped up all over the world to help us through this very difficult time as we navigate our way through the coronavirus pandemic. Those include museums giving virtual tours, operas offering encore performances, and stunning walks through national parks with knowledgable rangers. And now, we can add one more spectacular thing for viewers at home to watch: This stream of the Northern Lights directly from a webcam in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada.
“Welcome to nature's most amazing light show,” the feed’s description reads. “Located at the Churchill Northern Studies Center in Churchill, Manitoba, this live cam is located directly underneath the aurora oval — one of the best places on earth to watch the aurora borealis, the spectacular atmospheric phenomenon better known as the Northern Lights.”
It added, late winter and early spring — aka right now — happen to be some of the best times to view the aurora thanks to the earth’s positioning and weather.
The page also gives a fantastic scientific overview of exactly what the Northern Lights are and what people are looking at. It explains, the Northern lights, or aurora borealis, are a “luminous display visible when the earth's magnetic fields interact with charged particles from the sun. These lights can be seen above both poles; the southern lights are called ‘aurora australis.’”
As for what causes the gorgeous natural display, the website explains, the lights set off when the sun emits specific particles, especially “during solar flares.” Some of the particles are electrically charged and enter the earth's atmosphere at the poles, where the magnetosphere is weakest.
Those particles then “collide with the oxygen and nitrogen in the earth's upper atmosphere. When many of these collisions occur at once, the oxygen and nitrogen emit enough light for the eye to detect.”
Check out the live stream now, then, when the time comes and all is well, start planning an adventure to see the Northern Lights in real life, too.