Northern Lights Dazzle Across US And Europe Amid Intense Solar Storm

A powerful solar storm hitting Earth has produced stunning displays of the Northern Lights across the Northern Hemisphere, with sightings reported as far south as London and southern England in the U.K. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a rare severe geomagnetic storm warning when the solar outburst reached Earth on Friday afternoon.

Many people across the U.K. shared photos of the celestial event on social media, with sightings reported “from top to tail across the country,” according to Chris Snell, a meteorologist at the Met Office, Britain’s weather agency. The Northern Lights were also visible in other European locations, including Prague and Barcelona.

NOAA alerted power plant and spacecraft operators, as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to take precautions. However, Rob Steenburgh, a scientist with NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center, said that for most people on Earth, no action would be necessary.

The storm could produce Northern Lights as far south as Alabama and Northern California in the U.S., but experts cautioned that the displays might appear more like splashes of greenish hues rather than the dramatic curtains of color typically associated with the phenomenon. They suggested that phone cameras might capture the lights better than the naked eye.