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23 Jun, 2015 06:32

Dazzling northern lights, major geomagnetic storm hits Earth (PHOTOS)

Dazzling northern lights, major geomagnetic storm hits Earth (PHOTOS)

A major solar explosion and geomagnetic storm resulted in incredible northern lights on Monday night, mainly seen across northern Europe and North America.

Eyes to the skies for Northern Lights display over Gwent http://t.co/Uhk8Iej04l#northernlights#aurorapic.twitter.com/3yP2onPb6j

— South Wales Argus (@southwalesargus) June 22, 2015

The geomagnetic storm was classified G4, the second-highest possible degree – the last on such a scale happened in March, when auroras were seen as far south as New Mexico.

WOW! Northern Lights seen well south tonight from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Photo: Chris Cook. #Aurora#NorthernLightspic.twitter.com/uQ08poEaxt

— Mark Tarello (@mark_tarello) June 23, 2015

The best way to try and catch a glimpse of the impressive light show is to go to locations with minimum light pollution, and the more northerly, the better.

The event was even more dazzling from space, with Astronaut Scott Kelly tweeting the red aurora he saw from the ISS.

I've never seen this before- red #aurora. Spectacular! #YearInSpacepic.twitter.com/j2DVejt974

— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) June 22, 2015

The current geomagnetic storm could go on throughout Tuesday.

Sky lighting up w/magenta & purple in Louisa, VA. Can barely perceive naked-eye; evident in photos. @capitalweatherpic.twitter.com/QLjmmJiSKh

— David Murr (@davidmurr) June 23, 2015

On Sunday, during the summer solstice, a huge blast on the sun sent coronal mass ejections in our direction, which reached Earth on Monday afternoon.

GOD GAVE ME AN AWESOME BDAY PRESENT :) :) :) #northernlightspic.twitter.com/Rk5qi73TbD

— SANDMAN (@MicahSandman) June 23, 2015

The aurora is triggered by interactions between our planet’s magnetic field and charged particles sent towards us by explosions in the sun’s atmosphere.

WOW! Northern Lights seen Monday night from Memominee, Michigan. Photo credit: Sandie Blair. #Aurora#NorthernLightspic.twitter.com/HXqhA4N6Pd

— Mark Tarello (@mark_tarello) June 23, 2015