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Solar Storms Trigger Northern Lights

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Photograph by Ole C. Salomonsen,

Northern lights dance over the Lyngan Alps in a picture taken Tuesday night near Tromsø, Norway. The brilliant auroras were triggered by a coronal mass ejection, or CME, that hit our planet Tuesday morning.

A CME is a cloud of superheated gas and charged particles hurled off the sun.

When a CME hits Earth, the charged solar particles can interact with gases in our atmosphere to produce the northern and southern lights.

Watch a time-lapse video of this week's auroras over Lapland.

Northern Lights in Ireland



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