Aurora Borealis Visible In US: Wild Solar Flares Shine Red on Deep South

The Aurora Borealis, also known as the "Northern Lights," were seen as far south as Alabama, Louisiana and New Mexico on Oct. 25.

The light show was caused by coronal mass ejections from the sun and is usually visible in areas of high latitude, such as the Arctic and Antarctic.

However, a particularly violent solar storm sent the Aurora off its normal course.

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"The impact strongly compressed Earth's magnetic field, directly exposing geosynchronous satellites to solar wind plasma, and sparked an intense geomagnetic storm," said SpaceWeather, an environmental website.

Thirty-four states were able to the view the Northern Lights on Tuesday evening, including: Alabama, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Maryland, Georgia, New Mexico, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, Nebraska, Kentucky, North Carolina, Indiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Maryland, New York, Montana, Ohio, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Washington, Virginia, Texas, Arizona, Minnesota, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Oregon, Arkansas and California.

According to the website, the Aurora was visible on weather maps over the United States as early as 1:40 a.m. GMT on Oct. 25.

"As night fell over North America, auroras spilled across the Canadian border into the contiguous United States," SpaceWeather reported.

Residents of the Deep South reported that their Aurora show was a "pure red color." The color was apparently caused by the intensity of the geomagnetic storm.

The rare Aurora now has U.S. residents wondering when it will next occur.

Along with the Aurora, sunspots were visible to the naked eye as the sunset on Oct. 25.

Oregon resident James W. Young took photos of a particularly large and powerful sunspot as the sun met the horizon.

"Sunspot 1330 was clearly visible on the face of the sun as it set directly into the Pacific Ocean," said Young to SpaceWeather.

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