Northern Lights Seen in Deep South

People as far south as Atlanta spot aurora borealis

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 25, 2011 8:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Deep South isn’t exactly the place you think of when you hear “northern lights.” But the aurora borealis was in fact visible from Oklahoma City, Memphis, and Atlanta last night, hundreds of miles farther south than is typical. "A storm on the sun's surface was blown off, and the solar wind scattered it," a meteorologist explains to CNN about the solar outburst that caused the anomaly. "The energy and magnetism interact with the Earth's atmosphere and the magnetic field."

Usually, US dwellers can only see the northern lights from northern cities like Seattle or Boston—so, not surprisingly, Twitter was alight with comments about the phenomenon. MSNBC has some great photos, or click through the gallery for more shots of past northern lights.

Light from the aurora borealis fills the Big Dipper constellation in the early hours Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, above trees near Nikiski, Alaska.
Light from the aurora borealis fills the Big Dipper constellation in the early hours Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, above trees near Nikiski, Alaska.   (AP Photo/Peninsula Clarion, M. Scott Moon)
The aurora borealis forms an arc outside the window of an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 flying at 33,000 feet in the sky south of Anchorage, Alaska, Friday, Sept. 7, 2011.
The aurora borealis forms an arc outside the window of an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 flying at 33,000 feet in the sky south of Anchorage, Alaska, Friday, Sept. 7, 2011.   (AP Photo/Peninsula Clarion, M. Scott Moon)
In this Sept. 27, 2011, photo, a bright meteor drops through the glow of the aurora borealis in the northern sky behind a restaurant in Nikiski, Alaska.
In this Sept. 27, 2011, photo, a bright meteor drops through the glow of the aurora borealis in the northern sky behind a restaurant in Nikiski, Alaska.   (AP Photo/Peninsula Clarion, M. Scott Moon)
The Aurora Borealis glows in the sky, September 03, 2007, in the Greenland town of Kangerlussuaq.
The Aurora Borealis glows in the sky, September 03, 2007, in the Greenland town of Kangerlussuaq.   (Getty Images)
Swedes watch a display of Aurora Borealis, northern lights, in Ostby, overnight, Aug. 19, 2006.
Swedes watch a display of Aurora Borealis, northern lights, in Ostby, overnight, Aug. 19, 2006.   (Getty Images)
In this Sept. 3, 2006 file photo, a spectator watches the aurora borealis rise above the Alaska Range, in Denali National Park, Alaska.
In this Sept. 3, 2006 file photo, a spectator watches the aurora borealis rise above the Alaska Range, in Denali National Park, Alaska.   (AP Photo/M. Scott Moon, File)
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