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Aurora borealis lights up the night sky

Northern lights shine bright throughout the weekend as solar storms reach Earth

The aurora borealis was visible at Taylor Dock in Bellingham, Wash., on May 10, 2024. People gathered across the dock to see the weather phenomenon. // Photo by Miles Vander Vennet

The Bellingham sky was filled with the colors of the aurora borealis on Friday night as solar storms reached Earth's magnetic sphere. People gathered throughout town to get a chance to see the weather phenomenon. 

On May 9, NOAA space weather forecasters observed solar storms and coronal mass ejections (CMEs), predicting they would reach Earth on May 10, causing the aurora borealis to be seen throughout the U.S., from Washington to Alabama. 


The aurora borealis shines above the Chuckanut mountains near Bow, Wash., on May 10, 2024. The aurora was caused by solar storms and coronal mass ejections that occurred on the Sun on May 8, 2024. // Photo by Miles Vander Vennet

Hundreds of people gathered at the Taylor Dock boardwalk to observe the aurora caused by solar storms. Excitement was in the air as many people observed this phenomenon for the first time. 

Kyle Szegedi was at Taylor Dock on Friday, taking a time-lapse of the aurora. Szegedi has seen the aurora before in Iceland, Canada and in Washington, when the aurora last occurred. 


The night sky in Bellingham, Wash., was full of pink and green as the aurora borealis moved above the town on May 10, 2024. This aurora was one of the most visible auroras in the last decade. // Photo by Miles Vander Vennet

“This was the best viewing I’ve ever seen in Washington,” Szegedi said. “To be able to see it with your bare eyes and not just the wispy cloud shapes, but being able to see the pink and green colors, moving and changing — I've never seen anything like that in Washington.”

NOAA space weather forecasters predict the solar storms will persist throughout the weekend, making the chances to observe the aurora borealis high. For those looking to see the aurora this weekend, NOAA provides an aurora forecast map. Find somewhere dark and look up into the night sky to see if you can get a glimpse of the aurora.

Miles Vander Vennet

Miles Vander Vennet (he/him) is a city life reporter for The Front. He is a junior transfer student and is going into the public relations major. In his free time he likes playing video games, going on hikes with his dog and playing basketball and lacrosse. You can contact him at

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