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Light Show

MAINE EVENT On May 10, the colorful lights of the aurora borealis shimmer across the sky above a horse barn in Mercer, Maine. MICHAEL SEAMANS—GETTY IMAGES

People in the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, and other countries were treated to a colorful display in the sky this weekend. These displays, called auroras, are typically seen only near the Earth’s north and south poles. Thanks to a strong solar storm, the northern lights, called the aurora borealis, were viewable from unusual places.

In the United States, people snapped and shared pictures of the sky’s stunning hues. Officials from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said such an event could impact satellites and power grids. But it would not affect “most people here on planet Earth,” says NOAA’s Rob Steenburgh, who called the lights a “gift from space weather.”