For the last few days, Earth has been bombarded with radiation as the strongest solar storm since 2005 raged. This geomagnetic storm has resulted in a wealth in stunning videos of the northern lights. The lights were most vibrant in northern Europe, but did reach into Canada and Alaska.
Watch this extremely vibrant footage from Sweden by photographer Chad Blakley:
Check out the footage compiled by the Associated Press:
Here’s a short but sweet clip taken from Old Knik River Bridge in Alaska:
Here is footage from Trondheim, Norway:
Watch the show from Finland:
Here are photographs sent to us from Jason, a Blaze reader, from Fairbanks, Alaska:
An aurora appears when a magnetic solar wind slams into the Earth’s magnetic field, exciting electrons of oxygen and nitrogen.
The northern lights are sometimes seen from northern Scotland, but they were also visible Monday night from northeast England and Ireland, where such sightings are a rarity.
Peter Richardson, a 49-year-old bar manager and part-time poet at the 17th-century Tan Hill Inn in northern England, said the pub – normally dead on a Monday night in January — was thronged until the wee hours of the morning with people who came to look at the lights.
“I just thought: ‘Oh my God, this is just absolutely amazing,’” he said. “You do get a lot of spectacular skylines out here, but that was just something out of the ordinary. Very different.”
The sun is likely to get even more active in the next few months and years, said physicist Doug Biesecker at the U.S. Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado.
“To me this was a wake up call. The sun is reminding us that solar max is approaching,” Biesecker said. “A lot worse is in store for us. We hope that you guys are paying attention. I would say we passed with flying colors.”
NASA has also released footage of the storm happening on the sun itself. Check out the following two videos:
Scientists have been expecting solar eruptions to become more intense as the sun enters a more active phase of its 11-year cycle, with an expected peak in 2013.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.