Photos show the Northern Lights appeared as far south as Texas on Sunday from a double eruption on the sun. Auroras could become more common as solar activity nears its peak.

  • The Northern Lights could be seen in rare locations across the US over the weekend.

  • Lubbock, Texas and Salt Lake City, Utah experienced the light shows.

  • Stunning auroras this far south are rare but could become more common in the next year, or so.

The Northern Lights lit up the skies with brilliant reds, purples, and greens in a rare appearance this weekend in the southern half of the US. The light show was spotted as far south as Colorado and Texas, per

This unusual feast for the eyes was thanks to a pair of eruptions on the sun. On Saturday and Sunday, highly-charged particles from at least two coronal mass ejections struck Earth, per

Coronal mass ejections happen when the sun's magnetic fields collide, causing an explosion that propels charged sub-atomic particles into space that then interact with particles in Earth's atmosphere.

Not every CME strikes Earth, but in this case, the explosive region of the sun was facing our planet when it erupted, and the resulting particles triggered a strong geomagnetic storm that lit up the skies farther south than usual in places including Spokane, Washington; Salt Lake City, Utah; Aberdeen, South Dakota; and even Lubbock, Texas.

The National Weather Service, storm chasers, and photographers posted images of the spectacular show on X, formerly Twitter, seen around the world — take a look below.

Spokane, Washington

Lubbock, Texas

Riverton, Wyoming

Salt Lake City, Utah

Aberdeen, South Dakota

DeKalb, Illinois

Landon Moeller, who took the images above, told Insider via direct message "that it is not the aurora itself, but a similar phenomenon called 'stable auroral red,' caused by a geomagnetic storm."

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Bull Run Mountain, Virginia

Glasgow, Montana

Ellicott City, Maryland

Happisburgh, England

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Northern Lights far south might become more common

Auroras are visible in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres and you're more likely to see them closer to the North and South Poles, according to NOAA.

However, the sun is becoming more active and will soon reach solar maximum, a time of peak activity when solar eruptions are more common. That could make aurora events like this more common as CMEs increase.

Scientists estimate solar maximum will occur between January and October of 2024, per NOAA.

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