Sunshine Village Northern Lights Valentines DayIf you throw your head back while relaxing in the 30 person hot tub at Sunshine Mountain Lodge, reflecting on a great day of powder skiing, you might just catch a glimpse of another natural wonder: aurora borealis.

The Northern Lights, which typically paint the night sky with dancing, emerald-coloured lights in the winter months, can be seen from the tranquility of the village at night.

So what causes the phenomenon?

The light displays are associated with the solar wind, a continuous flow of electrically charged particles from the sun. When these particles reach the earth's magnetic field, some get trapped.

Many of these particles travel toward the earth's magnetic poles. When the charged particles strike atoms and molecules in the atmosphere, energy is released. Some of this energy appears in the form of auroras.

The end result: a beautiful and ethereal light show that typically lasts one to two hours.

To receive alerts about upcoming northern lights throughout the province check out http://corona-gw.phys.ualberta.ca/AuroraWatch/content/view/26/60.

The Sunshine Mountain Lodge provides the perfect outpost to discover the Northern Lights and of course it's a fantastic ski-in, ski-out destination nestled in the serenity of the majestic Canadian Rockies.

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