Residents in parts of the United States and Europe were treated to an unexpected light show.
From Wednesday evening into early Thursday morning, the aurora borealis created a bright display of lights.
A geomagnetic storm produced the dazzling show, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) .
Mother Nature has a pretty beautiful snow dance of her own. #theloaf #northernlights #aurora #winteriscoming pic.twitter.com/zTJOSaLN2v
— Sugarloaf Mountain (@SugarloafMaine) October 8, 2015
NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center issued an alert Wednesday that there would be a strong geomagnetic storm, a big disturbance of the Earth’s magnetosphere. The conditions were expected to continue over the next 24 to 36 hours, meaning a supercharged northern lights display could be observed in certain regions on Earth.
Strong #Geomagnetic storm of G3 intensity in progress—no significant impacts are expected: http://t.co/wD2lNzsRkC pic.twitter.com/Gz4qqsIgE3
— NWS (@NWS) October 7, 2015
The geomagnetic storm was caused by the Sun’s coronal holes, which are regions where the star’s corona is dark. The high-speed solar wind comes from the coronal hole, according to NASA. This high-speed solar wind helps produce an intense northern lights display.
Wednesday’s storm brought the rare celestial event to places like the United Kingdom where people captured vibrant photos and videos of the colorful lights and shared them on social media.
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SOURCE: CNN, Jareen Imam