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A Solar Storm Lights Up the Night Sky

A Solar Storm Lights Up the Night Sky

Europe|A Solar Storm Lights Up the Night Sky

https://www.nytimes.com/2024/05/10/world/europe/aurora-northern-lights-solar-storm-photos.html

The unusual sight of aurora borealis was visible in several European countries on Friday, and in multiple parts of the United States.


In Photos

People in Britain marveled at the unusual and spectacular sight of the northern lights on Friday night, the consequence of a severe solar storm that was brewing and was expected to continue over the coming days.

The northern lights — also known as aurora borealis — usually don’t reach that far south. They are most often seen in higher latitudes closer to the North Pole. People in other European countries, including Denmark and Germany, also reported seeing the lights.

Onlookers marveled at the sight, posting their surprise, delight and sometimes shock on social media. As one user wrote: “Aurora Borealis? At this time of year? At this time of day? In this part of the country? Localized entirely over Edinburgh?”

Another onlooker posted, “It really is gorgeous though.”

The northern lights also made appearances in North America, with some people reporting sightings in Maine on Friday night. They occur when the sun expels material from its surface.

The current solar storm is caused by a cluster of sunspots — dark, cool regions on the solar surface. The cluster is flaring and ejecting material every six to 12 hours.

Earlier Friday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center issued a rare warning about the solar outburst, because it could disrupt communications and even power grids.

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CreditCredit…Matt Tyska via Reuters

A time-lapse video shows the northern lights over Nashville.

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Credit…Adam Vaughan/EPA, via Shutterstock

The lights were visible in Britain, in locations including Crosby Beach near Liverpool, where they could be seen behind Antony Gormley’s “Another Place” sculpture.

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CreditCredit…Associated Press

The northern lights glow over trees in Markville, Minn.

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Credit…Gyorgy Varga/EPA, via Shutterstock

Lake Balaton near Fonyod, Hungary.

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Credit…Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

Admiring the northern lights, a rare sight there, in Whitley Bay, England, on Friday.

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[Laughing] Holy moly. I know. This — I thought it would just be over on the horizon a little — Behind us, too. Yeah. A little green on the horizon. Nothing like this. This is — This is like, ‘Oh, my god.’ Everywhere.

CreditCredit…Reuters

The northern lights over Puget Sound in Edmonds, Wash.

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Credit…Robert Nemeti/Anadolu, via Getty Images

The lights photographed in the sky over Debrad, Slovakia.

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Credit…Owen Humphreys/PA Images, via Getty Images

The northern lights casting a glow on a lighthouse in Whitley Bay.

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Credit…Cj Gunther/EPA, via Shutterstock

Plum Island and the mouth of the Merrimack River in Newburyport, Mass.

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CreditCredit…Reuters

Vancouver, British Columbia.

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Credit…Patrick Pleul/picture alliance, via Getty Images

The northern lights glowing in the sky in the Oder-Spree district of Brandenburg State in Germany.

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Credit…Jean-Christophe Bott/EPA, via Shutterstock

The mountains in the Col des Mosses pass in Switzerland.

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