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
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)

(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.

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Showing 3 of 6 comments
therealnowhereman
Oct 25, 2011 7:41 PM CDT
this might even have something to do with the bee situation. lots of earth s creatures use the magnetic field to navigate.
VolOtog
Oct 25, 2011 2:42 PM CDT
GREAT. I missed it!
AuDiophile
Oct 25, 2011 1:34 PM CDT
The northern lights or southern lights at the South Pole happen because that is where the magnetic field is the weakest. I watched a National Geographic program about the Earths Poles switching polarities, and that it's currently undergoing the process, which creates weak areas all over the globe until the change is complete. So that's probably what's happening down there and why they can see it, cause it's not coming from the North Pole, it's actually occurring above them.