Last week, days after the sun released a massive burst of solar wind and magnetic fields toward Earth, the particles collided with our planet’s magnetic field. When the two smash together, they create these amazing displays in the sky.
Green is the most common auroral color, according to Northern Lights Centre.
A pale yellowish-green, is produced by oxygen molecules located about 60 miles above the earth. Rare, all-red auroras are produced by high-altitude oxygen, at heights of up to 200 miles. Nitrogen produces blue or purplish-red aurora.
The above photograph, courtesy of NASA, was taken over Marquette, Mich., on May 18. Image by Amy Cherrette