The solar flare, which was the largest in six years, sent a "magnetic solar wind" into Earth's magnetic field, creating the mesmerizing visuals, according to the Associated Press.
The video below, shot on January 24 in northern Norway, shows the northern lights in real time. As Mother Nature Network explains, the video depicts the lights in a way that isn't seen in most time-lapse aurora videos.
A real-time video may be less stunning, but "time-lapse footage can also create a sense of detachment from reality, since it depicts nature as the naked eye doesn't see it," writes the site.
Whether or not you prefer time-lapse over real-time aurora videos, seeing the January 24 auroras online may have been your only option if you are a resident of the U.S. Rodney Viereck, a scientist with NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center, told The Post Standard that the northern lights could be seen from Canada and southern England, but they were not visible in the continental U.S.
Click here to see more pictures from January's amazing northern lights display.
To see some of the best images of auroras from 2011, click here.
Be sure to check out the second video below to see the difference between auroras in time-lapse and real-time.
WATCH the real-time video: