“As the cloud of charged particles reaches the Earth's atmosphere, interacting with the gases, a glow appears. Charged particles also act on Earth's magnetic field, causing turbulence called magnetic storms,” Bricis said.
The magnetic storm had been quite strong this time, so the northern lights were not only bright enough to be seen with the naked eye; they also appeared not just in the north as usual, but also towards the west and south.
Bricis said that in Latvia there are often northern lights that are barely visible, but can be caught on camera, taking long-exposure images.
“But such cases, when you can see the beams without the help of the camera, are relatively rare,” he said.
Although people often associate northern lights with winter and cold weather, this phenomenon has no direct connection with weather. In summer, it is usually too light to spot them.