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10 photos of the Northern Lights dazzling in the night sky across the US and Europe caused by massive geomagnetic storm

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  • On Friday night, the Northern Lights put on a spectacular show for US and European star-gazers.
  • The lights, Aurora Borealis, were triggered by a huge geomagnetic storm headed toward Earth.
  • High-energy particles from the sun interacting with Earth’s magnetic field cause geomagnetic storms.

Skies over the US and Europe were transformed into shades of interstellar pink, purple, blue, and green on Friday night as the Northern Lights produced a dazzling display.

Aurora Borealis lights were triggered after America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued its first severe solar storm warning since 2005 as a huge geomagnetic storm headed toward Earth.

The NOAA said the G5 geomagnetic storm, which is considered extreme and the strongest level of a geomagnetic storm, brought with it the risk of affecting communications, GPS, and power grids.

Geomagnetic storms occur when high-energy particles from the sun reach Earth and interact with our magnetic field.

But the sun is 93 million miles away, so these particles have to get a major boost to reach us. That boost comes from solar storms.

Solar storms happen when the sun shoots powerful explosions of highly energized and magnetic plasma called coronal mass ejections toward Earth.

The lights were seen in the US as far south as El Paso, Texas, and across Europe in Germany, Spain, the UK, and Ukraine.

Here’s a look at 10 of the best pictures captured by stargazers.

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