Did you see them?
You may have been tucked into bed or inside, but on Saturday night and early Sunday morning, the sky erupted in a stunning display of northern lights that many people were able to capture with cameras.
The northern lights, also known as the aurora borealis, was so powerful it was seen as far south as California and Arizona.
We’re treated to this light show when particles from the sun travel along the solar wind and interact with Earth’s magnetic field. In this case, a coronal mass ejection (CME) erupted from the sun, spewing these particles on a quick-moving wind.
Initially, it didn’t look like it was going to do much, but a crack in Earth’s magnetosphere allowed the particles to stream in and the spectacular light show began.
“It was amazing watching something so beautiful … something so mysterious,” Laura Duchesne told CBC News. She was able to watch the lights in southwestern Ontario.
Seasoned aurora chaser Notanee Bourassa recorded the northern lights as they danced across the sky near Regina.
“There was a forking point directly above me and it literally exploded with violent, starbursting, brilliant green light with purple highlights,” he told CBC News. “It was better than any climax of fireworks. So encompassing, brilliant and huge! I will remember that moment for the rest of my life.”
In Ontario, Drew Patterson caught the aurora just as they were beginning, even before the sky was dark.
If you missed the display, here are some more photos from across Canada and the U.S.
An incredible show of #aurora last night! They take our breath away. Taken from SW #yeg @AuroraMAX #northernlights @ExploreEdmonton pic.twitter.com/xt0NOhL3wo
EPIC! Northern Lights seen last night near Lansing, MichiganDan #Aurora #NorthernLights #photohour pic.twitter.com/xIFEBKDGgg
WOW! Northern Lights seen this past weekend near Ely, Minnesota. Photo credit: Matt Herberg. #Aurora #NorthernLights pic.twitter.com/EIgTUWDikK