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.

Northern lights ISS

Bill Longo caught the space station passing above from Kirkfield, Ont. (Bill Longo)

The northern lights, also known as the aurora borealis, was so powerful it was seen as far south as California and Arizona.

Malcolm Park produced this timelapse from from Bloomfield, Ont. 

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.

Northern lights

Purple and green lights stretch high above the sky near Drayton, Ont. (@LauraDuchesne/www.laurawx.com)

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.

Northern lights Notanee

The aurora fill the sky in this image taken near Dafoe, Sask. (Notanee Bourassa)

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.

Aurora May 28

If you missed the display, here are some more photos from across Canada and the U.S.

Great Aurora of May 27, 2017 Wide-Angle v5 by Alan Dyer on 500px.com