Northern Lights Visible in U.S. Last Weekend! May 2024

Last weekend, the aurora borealis, also known as the Northern Lights were visible over the US, Canada, and down south in places such as Georgia and Florida.

Auroras are lights that are only found at the North Pole and the South Pole. They light up the night skies with red, blue, and pink colors! These are known as “The Greatest Light Show on Earth!”. Auroras happen because of solar winds. The Sun releases highly charged particles called electrons in a process called coronal-mass ejection. Just like winds on Earth, these “solar winds” can turn into “solar storms”. At the peak of this storm, these charged particles are clumped up together. When these charged particles enter Earth’s atmosphere, they move toward the North and South magnetic poles. As the get deeper in the atmosphere, the charged particles crash into the other molecules that are in our atmosphere. When the charged particles crash into different types of molecules, it releases different colors.

The Northern Lights happened this down south because the solar storm, rated a G5 or G4 geomagnetic storm, was very powerful and unleashed a larger circle of auroras.