Over the weekend, we were warned of a solar storm that would bombard Earth’s magnetic field with particles from Saturday through Sunday. Although it was only expected to have a minor effect — if any — on the power grid, airlines and other systems influenced by such storms, it at least resulted in magnificent auroral events seen from the U.S.-Canadian border and northern Europe.
Here are some of the top time-lapsed videos showing the aurora borealis caused by the charged particles from the sun interacting with our magnetic fields.
St. Cloud, Minn.:
Laukvik, Lofoten, Norway:
Pitts Meadows, British Colombia:
San Juan Islands:
The solar flare that sends the highly charged particles toward Earth at 3 million miles per hour was the sixth solar storm in 2012, none of which have had a significant impact on the daily activities of earthlings. The storm was part of the sun’s normal 11-year cycle of solar activity, which is supposed to reach peak storminess next year.
In severe cases, solar storms can cause power blackouts, damage satellites and disrupt GPS signals and high-frequency radio communications. Airlines are sometimes forced to reroute flights to avoid the extra radiation around the north and south poles brought on by solar storms.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.