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'It was a whole dance of lights': Aurora borealis peeks through the clouds in Vancouver

(Samuel Troya, Instagram/@samueltroyaz) (Samuel Troya, Instagram/@samueltroyaz)

Samuel Troya saw the northern lights over Vancouver once before, about a year and a half ago, but it was nothing like the spectacle he witnessed Friday morning.

"That day, it was only a soft glow over the city," Troya said of his previous encounter with the aurora borealis.

"Yesterday's was breathtaking. It was a whole dance of lights all across the sky at one point."

Troya is just one of numerous skywatchers across Vancouver and across the country who turned their eyes – and camera lenses – to the heavens overnight.

The recent UBC graduate told CTV News he's passionate about landscape photography and knew he wanted to try to take advantage of the geomagnetic storm watch that was expected to produce colourful auroras across northern skies Thursday night.

"It's definitely so, so luck-based," Troya said. "What's crazy about last night is that it was forecasted, but Vancouver being Vancouver, it was super cloudy, so I never even thought that I was going to see them."

"I woke up at 2 a.m. By chance, I saw that the sky was clear, so I grabbed my stuff and rushed to the beach to see if I could see something."

Photos and a short video that Troya shared with CTV News were recorded around 2:30 a.m. at Kits Beach, he said.

Originally from Ecuador, he said he's lived in Vancouver for six years, and has always found the city and surrounding landscape breathtaking. A desire to share the city's sights with friends and family is what motivated him to get out of bed in the middle of the night, he said.

"It's such a beautiful city, and I just love being able to share everything that it has, including northern lights from time to time," Troya said.

Thursday night's display was a result of an Earth-facing coronal hole on the sun and solar winds, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 

For those who missed the northern lights overnight Thursday, NOAA says there's still a chance for another show Friday night. Top Stories

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