Berks County gets rare glimpse of Northern Lights overnight

Aurora borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, was visible in Berks County overnight Sunday into Monday as a powerful geomagnetic storm hit Earth, pushing the phenomenon further south.

Berks Weekly photographer Jason Hugg captured these images around 12:30am Monday using a long exposure camera at the State Hill Boat launch overlook area of Blue Marsh Lake in Bern Township.

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The Northern Lights were visible in our region due to a geomagnetic storm, measured as a 4 out of 5 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Space Weather Prediction Center.

What are the Northern Lights? The sun is constantly emitting a stream of charged particles called the solar wind. When this wind hits Earth’s upper atmosphere, or ionosphere, it causes the aurora, or northern lights.

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The ionosphere is a layer of the atmosphere that is ionized, meaning that it contains charged particles. These charged particles are attracted to the Earth’s magnetic field, which is strongest at the poles. When the solar wind hits the ionosphere, it energizes the charged particles. These energized particles then collide with atoms and molecules in the ionosphere, causing them to emit light.

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Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly
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