It was as unexpected as it was incredible. A solar storm struck Earth's atmosphere Monday night, unleashing an intense display of the Northern Lights that some say the likes haven't been seen in several years.
According to Spaceweather.com, the Northern Lights were reported in more than half of the states in the U.S., not only including the Northwest, but some southern states such as Arizona, Texas and Alabama!
Around here, photographers raced outdoors once they heard the news, and the results were spectacular.
These three images at Mukilteo's Lighthouse Park by Liem Bahneman:
(All photos copyrighted, but used here with his permission.)
And here is a larger shot of the Northern Lights behind Oregon's Mt. Hood was taken by YouNews contributor "rowdey"
The streak of light you see in the photo was an Orionid Meteor, part of the ongoing meteor shower as well!
You can see more photos from around the world at that Spaceweather.com link.
The storm has subsided, so odds of seeing them again Tuesday night were lower, but hopefully the next time a big display like this is on the way, it won't sneak up on us!