A webcam lets you gaze at the Northern Lights from home - and the views are incredible

Seeing the Northern Lights is an experience firmly on the bucket lists of most amateur explorers – but at the moment travel is all but impossible.

Monday, 6th April 2020, 8:57 am
Updated Monday, 6th April 2020, 2:34 pm

However, there is a way people can view the beautiful natural phenomenon without leaving their homes.

The team behind Explore.org – the world's biggest network of live nature cameras – has set up a webcam in Churchill in Manitoba, Canada, that is perfectly positioned to capture the aurora borealis.

Britain is about five hours ahead of Canada, a difference viewers will need to factor in when they plan to watch.

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On its website, Explore describes the aurora – caused by collisions between electrically charged particles – as ‘nature's most amazing light show’.

"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.

"Late winter and early spring are the best times for the aurora, so be sure to stop in during the months of February and March."

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The Northern Lights are pictured on March 9, 2018, in Utakleiv, northern Norway, Lofoten islands, within the Arctic Circle. Picture: OLIVIER MORIN/AFP via Getty Images.

Explore offers many other live webcams from an array of locations – these extend from African wildlife to the oceans of Hawaii and even a hummingbird nest.

Similarly, the Google Arts & Culture app allows anyone with a smartphone to see top exhibitions and go on virtual reality tours of renowned sites in 360-degree imagery.

The app has attracted the likes of the Musee d'Orsay in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and The National Gallery in London.

The British Museum in London, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence feature, along with two of the Tate galleries – Tate Modern and Tate Britain.

Institutions in the North of England have signed up, such as The Lowry in Salford, The Hepworth in Wakefield and the Leeds University Library Galleries.

Users can beat the travel restrictions by exploring historic sites in a Street View format – in Italy alone, these include the ruins of Pompeii, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Venice canals and The Colosseum in Rome.