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Northern lights dance across the night sky in southern Ont.

The northern lights are seen in this viewer submitted image from London, Ont. on May 10, 2024. (Source: Avik Chakraborty) The northern lights are seen in this viewer submitted image from London, Ont. on May 10, 2024. (Source: Avik Chakraborty)
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The most powerful geomagnetic storm in the past 20 years impacted Earth on the night of May 10-11, 2024, resulting in vibrant northern lights across Canada, the U.S. and Europe.

This particular storm was so severe that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) declared it a G4, the second highest level given to solar storms, the last of which took place in 2005, according to CTV News Toronto.

Also known as the aurora borealis in the northern hemisphere, the dancing of lights in the night sky is caused by an explosion of material from the sun. The charged particles then hit Earth's magnetic field and interact with the atmosphere, resulting in a dazzling light show.

Northern lights typically don't reach latitudes as far south as southern Ontario, with Friday night and Saturday morning's light show being a rare spectale.

IN PHOTOS: Chasing northern lights in southern Ontario

IN PHOTOS: Aurora borealis lights up the night sky

The northern lights are seen in this viewer submitted image from Grand Bend, Ont. on May 10, 2024. (Source: Walter Santarelli)And in case you missed Friday's light show, there may still be hope for Saturday night and over the coming days, weather permitting, according to NOAA

“The great news is the sun is still burping this stuff out,” Science Specialist Dan Riskin said in an interview with CP24. "So we should get a similar show tonight."

Riskin added that it can be difficult to know when and where the auroras will fill up the night sky, but in Ontario between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. is usually prime time for viewing.

Cloudy skies and light pollution can impact viewing, so the northern lights are best seen in clear skies and away from major sources of light, such as large cities. 

From London, to Grand Bend, Collingwood and Guelph, click the link above for some of the highlights from across southern Ontario.

Got a photo you'd like to share? Please send us an email at Internet.PL-Weather@bellmedia.ca. 

-- With files from CTV News Toronto's Hannah Alberga and Abby O'Brien 

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