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Northern Lights seen in New England amid strong geomagnetic storm

The Northern Lights appeared Thursday night over Sebago Lake in Maine.Jamie Walter

Much of New England caught a rare but dazzling display of Northern Lights late Thursday and early Friday morning as a powerful geomagnetic storm covered the region.

Shimmering hues of greens, yellows, and reds painted the sky, delighting onlookers, some of whom posted about the light show on social media.

“Rarely are the Northern Lights seen here in Kennebunk, Maine, but tonight they danced!” one person tweeted.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued an alert for the storm, which ranked a four out of five on its space weather severity scale. In a geomagnetic storm, solar winds carrying charged particles disrupt Earth’s magnetic field, creating the rays of light, the agency said.

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“During the evening, these rays can form arcs that stretch from horizon to horizon,” NOAA said on its website. “Late in the evening, near midnight, the arcs often begin to twist and sway, just as if a wind were blowing on the curtains of light.”

The lights were visible across the northernmost regions of the US, the agency said.

Many took to social media to document the phenomena. Below are some highlights.


Kate Armanini can be reached at kate.armanini@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @KateArmanini.