New photos show auroras dancing in skies around the world this weekend
Green and purple curtains of light danced in the skies around the world this weekend.
The strong aurora showing was sparked by a mass of hot plasma burped from the sun and sent on a crash-course with Earth.
While the auroras weren’t particularly strong in New England and some other parts of the U.S., the curtains of light did put on a good show for people in the high latitudes of the Southern and Northern Hemispheres.
Scientists in Antarctica even caught sight of the southern lights this weekend.
Auroras occur when streams of charged particles are sent out from the sun into the rest of the solar system.
Those particles can impact Earth’s magnetic field and get drawn down into the planet’s upper atmosphere. Once in the atmosphere, those solar particles can interact with neutral particles, creating the glowing lights we call the auroras.
Most of the time, the auroras can only be seen in a relatively small part of the world because the bits of solar plasma are drawn down along magnetic field lines. But sometimes, when solar storms are more intense, the oval of the aurora can become larger, bathing other parts of the world in green, purple, and red light.
Video: Dustin Dilworth/Storyful