Oooh! Stunning Auroras Seen By Skywatchers Around The World

03/18/2015 04:53 pm ET | Updated Mar 23, 2015

Along with astronauts aboard the International Space Station, skywatchers around the world were treated to a stunning light show on St. Patrick's Day--thanks to a severe geomagnetic storm that hit Earth.

(Scroll down for photos.)

The geomagnetic storm that triggered Tuesday's auroras resulted from a stream of charged particles sent our way by a pair of massive eruptions that the sun released on Sunday. At its peak, the storm reached a G4-level intensity on a one- to five-point scale.

Auroras occur when charged particles from the sun collide with particles in Earth's atmosphere, triggering a reaction that releases light. Auroras are typically seen over Earth's poles but can drop down toward the Equator during intense geomagnetic storms.

See below for a collection of 15 gorgeous stills and videos of auroras seen across the U.S., Canada, and northern Europe--and from the ISS. Enjoy!

"Solar storms" are our favourite kind of storms 🌌 #aurora #iceland #northernlights

A photo posted by Styrmir Kári & Heiðdís (@styrmir_heiddis) on


Öxarárfoss #waterfall at Þingvellir national park last night, the Northern Lights were amazing! #Iceland #Aurora #Nature

A photo posted by GO Films&Stills (@gofilmsandstills) on


slooh aurora
Beautiful image captured by a Slooh observatory astronomer on an expedition to Iceland. (Credit: Juan Carlos Casado, SLOOH/IAC Expedition)



Terry W. Virts/Vine


The Northern Lights Been almost 4 years since I last saw them. @syrp_ #syrptimelapse

A video posted by Javin Lau (@javin_lau) on


aurora st patties
Last night Earth experienced a geomagnetic storm and aurora were visible in the Northern U.S. states. These images of aurora were captured on March 17, 2015, around 5:30 a.m. EDT in Donnelly Creek, Alaska by Sebastian Saarloos. Image Courtesy of Sebastian Saarloos.


Luck of the Irish!

A photo posted by Chris Malloy (@mistermalloy) on





Oğuzhan Kaya/Twitter

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