Spectacular display of northern lights illuminates sky
Despite the bright moon, people across the world witness display
As forecast, the northern lights danced across the sky Thursday night, and many people were able to catch the show.
Following a powerful eruption from the sun, the U.S. Space Weather Prediction Center had forecast high geomagnetic activity from Wednesday to Thursday, which would result in northern lights.
While it didn't manifest on Wednesday, two more eruptions — which were much stronger — slammed into Earth Thursday night.
Vertical <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Pano?src=hash">#Pano</a> of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NorthernLights?src=hash">#NorthernLights</a> exploding over Lake Huron seen from <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SaugeenShores?src=hash">#SaugeenShores</a>, Ontario! // Captured Sept 7, 2017 <a href="https://twitter.com/StormHour">@stormhour</a> <a href="https://t.co/qwu3OgPy4y">pic.twitter.com/qwu3OgPy4y</a>—@scottrockphoto
Northern lights last night from Fredericton. 😍 <a href="https://twitter.com/FredTourism">@FredTourism</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/SeeNewBrunswick">@SeeNewBrunswick</a> <a href="https://t.co/VSQsSGt2QR">pic.twitter.com/VSQsSGt2QR</a>—@kandisebrown
It's overhead! Totally naked eye visible! BOC shots at Hecla Island MB <a href="https://twitter.com/TamithaSkov">@TamithaSkov</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/LauraDuchesne">@LauraDuchesne</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/NorthLightAlert">@NorthLightAlert</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/TweetAurora">@TweetAurora</a> <a href="https://t.co/VCB9Q5zc6n">pic.twitter.com/VCB9Q5zc6n</a>—@Stormymaryann
The display was seen across Canada, even as far south as southern Ontario. There were reports that they were also seen across parts of the northern U.S.
People were also able to see it around the world, despite the bright moonlight.
The sun erupted in an X9.3 solar flare on Thursday, followed by a coronal mass ejection, or CME. The X-class of solar flares are among the most powerful. A second, weaker X-class flare followed.
The particles ejected by the CME then travelled along the solar wind, interacting with Earth's magnetosphere, producing the beautiful colours.
Northern Lights, Norway <a href="https://t.co/ZrMgoKFFVi">pic.twitter.com/ZrMgoKFFVi</a>—@MesmerizingVids
WOW! Northern Lights seen last night from South Hero, Vermont. Photo credit: Jeremy Gilchrist. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Aurora?src=hash">#Aurora</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NorthernLights?src=hash">#NorthernLights</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/VTwx?src=hash">#VTwx</a> <a href="https://t.co/BoZT8jYY6t">pic.twitter.com/BoZT8jYY6t</a>—@mark_tarello
Inukjuak light show <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NorthernLights?src=hash">#NorthernLights</a> <a href="https://t.co/TeyZy5npW0">pic.twitter.com/TeyZy5npW0</a>—@SlashLaCash
The geomagnetic storm subsided for a while on Friday, but then increased sharply again.
If you missed the display, you may get another chance: there is a chance of more northern lights Friday into Saturday.