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Northern Lights glimmer across western Washington skies

Stargazers in western Washington were treated to an amazing Aurora Borealis show overnight Monday.

SEATTLE — If you were lucky enough to be outside Monday night in western Washington away from any bright city lights, you may have caught a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights.

The dazzling light show appeared to have been visible as far south as Hansville as early as 8 p.m.

With the clear, chilly fall weather, many Puget Sound residents were able to grab pictures of the phenomenon.

Up in Issaquah, KING 5 viewer Marianne Mallen was able to capture the lights from her window.

Credit: Marianne Mallen
Credit: Marianne Mallen

Another KING 5 viewer caught a glimpse of the lights all the way down in Enumclaw.

Credit: KING 5 Viewer
Credit: KING 5 Viewer

Andrea shared her view from Point No Point in Kitsap County. 

Randy Small captured a gorgeous shot of the lights over the farm where his wife grew up in Lynden. 

Andy spotted it from his home in Tacoma. 

And Tim captured it from the beach by the Edmonds ferry dock. 

Felotio said the lights looked grayer to the naked eye but appeared green once you took a photo with a camera or smartphone. 

The lights were more visible from areas with less light pollution, as Orlando's shot from Sequim demonstrates. 

M + J Kennedy called it the "most magnificent surprise." 

Scotty took this shot with a 25-second exposure at 11:25 p.m. The longer exposure allowed a stronger green to come through. 

Fellow Washingtonians on the eastern part of the state got to see the show, too, with the Washington Department of Transportation sharing pictures from Spokane. 

The Aurora Borealis is caused by the interaction between the sun and the earth’s atmosphere, according to the National Weather Service.

Electrically charged particles called ions are emitted from the sun and move outward in a stream of plasma, which is called the solar wind. When the plasma comes into contact with the earth’s magnetic field, some ions become trapped and interact with the earth’s atmosphere. This causes them to glow, which is the same principal as what makes a neon sign light up.

Typically, the Northern Lights are best viewed in the furthest north or south latitudes.

In April, the lights were seen as far south as Bainbridge Island.

To see your best chance for seeing the Northern Lights, check out the Space Weather Prediction Center. According to the Tuesday forecast, it is unlikely Washington state will see the lights again Tuesday night.

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