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Timelapse: Meteor Shower Encounters Rare Northern Lights Display

By Samantha-Rae Tuthill, Staff Writer
October 10, 2013; 7:39 PM ET
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For the second time in two weeks, a brief northern lights display flashed across the sky down into the Upper Midwest and into the Northeastern states on Tuesday and Wednesday night.

The northern lights, also called the aurora borealis, are created when radiation from a solar flare reaches the Earth's atmosphere and reacts with its charged protons. The direction of the solar flare will determine the intensity of the lights and how far south they will go. Had a direct solar flare occurred, the lights would have extended farther south.

From Wednesday into early Thursday morning, the aurora collided with another celestial show: the Draconid meteor shower.

The two events were captured together in a time-lapse video on October 8-9 in Bellaire, Mich.

Timelapse by Darrell Christie.

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A meteor stretches across the sky in Colchester, Vt. Photo by Kyle Ugalde.

The northern lights reach into Michigan. Photo by Darrell Christie Photography.

A view of the aurora framing Mt. Kearsarge in New Hampshire. Photo by Ann Dinsmore.

Sight of the aurora seen in Gorham, Maine. Photo by Scott Wandell.

The aurora reflects back from a pond in Maine. EXIF data: Nikon D600 & 14-24mm at 14, f/2.8, 30 secs, ISO 1250, 10/08/13, 8:41 PM. Photo by Mike Taylor.

A streak of green lights darts across the sky in St-Elzear de Beauce, Quebec. Photo by Gabriel Cyr.

Green and purple lights hem the treeline in near Mulliken, Mich. Photo by Mike Lewis.


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