Vivid green strands of light danced across the night sky in Alberta on Tuesday evening. The lights were also visible in skies across the U.S. and the United Kingdom overnight, thanks to a solar storm.
For many people, seeing the phenomenon in person is worth a trek to the arctic region. However, the lights were visible further south than usual, due to the impact of a coronal mass ejection (or CME) on Monday.
According to NASA, CMEs are formed from clouds of solar plasma combined with embedded magnetic fields, which are released into space following a solar eruption.
Also known by its scientific name the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights can be viewed from as many as 1000 km away according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Although the Aurora is not visible in the daylight hours, the spectacle can typically be viewed from somewhere on the Earth just before sunset or just before sunrise.