Northern Lights Explore.org

Lately, our inbox has been flooded with dozens of tourism boards looking to get travellers interested in future travel, post-COVID-19.

We’ve been exploring virtual museums, libraries, cooking schools, podcasts and concert sites, but were super excited to see that the Northern Lights is also something that we can enjoy from the comfort of our homes!

Aurora Borealis, Churchill, Manitoba

Explore.org is a site that includes a mobile (iOS, Android) app so that you can view live cams from around the world. Think of it as the Netflix of Live Nature, according to Curator-in-Chief Rick Hemingway.

Aurora Borealis, Churchill, Manitoba
[Current outdoor temp in Churchill: -18C/feels like -28C; inside living room at home: 20C 😊]

We recently downloaded the iPad version of the app and tuned in on a clear Churchill, Manitoba night to watch the beginning of an aurora event.

Welcome to nature’s most amazing light show!

Churchill, Manitoba by day

There isn’t much to see by day, but once 10 pm (midnight CST) rolls around, tune in to watch the feed taken from Churchill’s Northern Studies Center. The center’s live cam is located right underneath the aurora oval, one of the best spots on Earth to watch the aurora borealis unfold.

Aurora Borealis, Churchill Manitoba

The site also explains a bit about how auroras occur, so you’ll learn as you watch.

The app’s interface includes a play button to watch a live stream as well as crucial weather details to help determine if you’ll be seeing a show of colour — or cloud cover.

Through Canadian-based media travel, I’ve been lucky to have witnessed and covered the Northern Lights in both The Yukon and Northwest Territories.

Aurora hunting with Aurora Ninja Photo Tours

It’s a sight to behold, especially when the shapes begin to “dance” in front of your eyes! Those sub-zero nights bring back memories of dressing up like an eskimo, but there’s nothing like looking up and being awed by nature, unless of course you’re not able to travel.

For now, nature-themed sites are keeping us entertained and hopeful that once the Coronavirus passes through, we’ll be able to once again step out and enjoy nature’s gifts.

Great Grey Owls Mission Valley, Montana
[Great Grey Owls Mission Valley, Montana]

And if you’re not into Aurora Borealis-spotting, check out the dozens of other live feeds, including hummingbirds and polar bears, African wildlife, oceans, honey bees, right down to a tropical reef aquarium in Long Beach, California.

Hummingbird in nest

Explore.org also allows you to follow live feeds as well as comment and share your discoveries on social media. I noticed that some feeds will also allow you to take a snapshot of your screen to download and save — or to share with fellow nature lovers.

Aquarium of the Pacific
[A calming, live feed peek inside the tropical reef tank at the Aquarium of the Pacific]

This translates to hours of entertainment for all ages.

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