PHOTOS: Northern Lights provide stellar U.S. views as Starlink put under pressure by solar storm

Last weekend, Earth was directly hit by a major Solar storm, and millions were treated to a view of the Northern and Southern lights for the first time.

The storm triggered the Northern Lights to descend much further south than normal, providing brilliant moving lights in the skies usually reserved for those in the far northern and southern hemispheres.

Despite its raw beauty, the storms were a major cause of concern among satellite operators, including SpaceX, which, as of this writing, has 5,999 Starlink satellites orbiting around Earth.

Elon Musk posted, acknowledging that it would be a major test for their constellation, which had previously lost satellites due to Solar storm activity.

The Vice President of Starlink Engineering, Michael Nicolls, posted that all of their Starlink satellites, including those recently launched, survived the storm. The satellites that were recently launched were at a much greater risk as atmospheric drag increases and could cause an unintentional de-orbit.

Here are some of our favorite pictures we spotted over on X.

A beautiful view of the Aurora Borealis from Nick Stewart who was in South Dakota.

As noted earlier, the Northern Lights were visibly much further South, including South Florida. The red hue of the lights seen from Florida is due to the Aurora being at a much higher altitude than the greens and blues seen further North.

One of the last major storms, known as the Carrington Event, occurred in 1859 with Aurora being visible as far South as Cuba. That storm ignited telegraph lines at the time, causing major outages. While this storm wasn’t as strong, there is always a risk to our current infrastructure, and luckily, it seems no satellite operators suffered any major damage or losses, and ground power stations suffered no blackouts.

The Sunspot that caused the Coronal Mass Ejections has now rotated away from Earth, but it doesn’t mean we are out of the line of fire, as a new one could pop up at any time and send another one our way. This storm provided a great test for satellite operators who now have valuable data to help sturdy their satellites against future Solar storms.

Check out some other awesome photos of the Northern Lights:

Were you able to witness this possibly once-in-a-lifetime event? If so, where were you able to witness the Aurora from?

Questions or comments? Shoot me an email at, or Tweet me @RDAnglePhoto.

Richard Angle: Launch journalist, specializing in launch photography. Based on the Space Coast, a short drive from Cape Canaveral and the SpaceX launch pads.
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