Spectacular photos show the Northern Lights around the world

series Strong solar storm Colorful skies across the Northern Hemisphere this weekend as people witnessed dazzling displays northern lights in the United States, Canada, Europe, China and beyond. Officials said the dazzling light shows may continue for several more days.

The Aurora Borealis – a phenomenon more commonly known as the Northern Lights – occurs due to molecular collisions in the upper atmosphere of the Earth, which cause energy to leak out in the form of visible light. The aurora borealis has a counterpart, the aurora australis, or southern lights, which is the same phenomenon in the southern hemisphere. These beacon displays can be seen more than half of the year in certain areas near the two poles of the planet, but are rarely seen in areas closer to the equator, which is why. Performances in North AmericaEurope and other places at similar latitudes have been such a treat for the past few days.

Auroras extend from the poles toward the equator during periods of intense space weather activity, and in the past have been known to reach as far as the continental United States when the activity is particularly extreme. That was the case over the weekend, when an unusually strong geomagnetic storm reached Earth, setting the stage for explosive nighttime scenes around the world. The geomagnetic storm that hit on Friday was Historical G5The highest level on a rating scale starting at G1, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

A solar storm of this size has not touched Earth in decades. It arrived in the midst of a parade of coronal mass ejections — ejecta of magnetic fields and other solar material from the Sun’s corona that can trigger geomagnetic storms — that continued to showcase the northern lights throughout Friday and Saturday. The next bursts of solar material are expected to hit Earth Sunday afternoonAccording to NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center, which has issued a geomagnetic storm watch for G4 or G5 events that could result in coronal mass ejections.

“Watches at this level are very rare,” the Space Weather Prediction Center said in an advisory on Saturday. He noted that upcoming solar activity could cause the aurora “to become visible over much of the northern half of the country and possibly as far south as Alabama to northern California.”

Ahead of another round of solar flares, here’s a look at some of the spectacular auroras that took place around the world this weekend.

The northern lights fill the sky at Bogus Basin Ski Resort on Saturday, May 11, 2024, in Boise, Idaho.

Kyle Green/AP

A communications tower is pictured against the northern lights near St. Joseph, Missouri on Saturday, May 11, 2024.

Charlie Riddell / AP

The Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, is visible over Ann Arbor, Michigan early Saturday, May 11, 2024.

Dee Ann Durbin / AP

The northern lights shine in the sky above a farmhouse late Friday, May 10, 2024, in Brunswick, Maine.

Robert F. Bukat / AP

The northern lights glow in the sky near Croschel, Minn., late Friday, May 10, 2024.

Owen Caputo Sullivan/AP

In this long-exposure image, the northern lights are seen across the sky on Friday, May 10, 2024, in Estacada, Oregon.

Jenny Kane/AP

The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, is seen from Arlington, Texas, Friday, May 10, 2024.

Julio Cortes / AP

The northern lights, or aurora borealis, are seen over Lake Washington in Renton, Washington, Friday evening, May 10, 2024.

Lindsey Wasson/AP

Aurora borealis over Jericho Beach in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on May 10, 2024.

Chris Helgren/REUTERS

The aurora borealis is seen on May 10, 2024, over the Roaches near Leek, Staffordshire, UK.

Carl Rezzini/REUTERS

The northern lights are seen over a lake near Szczytno, Poland, on May 10, 2024.

Kacper Pempel / REUTERS

The Aurora Borealis lights up the sky over the city of Tara in southwestern Siberia, Omsk Region, Russia, on May 11, 2024.

Alexei Malgavko / REUTERS

The Northern Lights shine over the skies of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China on May 11, 2024.

VCG/VCG via Getty Images

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