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Photos: Northern lights flash, flicker over Bay Area skies

A person is taking a picture of aurora-like lights in a starry night sky over a calm lake with their phone.
Viewed from San Rafael's China Camp Beach, the northern lights illuminate the sky of the San Francisco North Bay. | Source: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu via Getty Images

The night skies in the Bay Area—and across the Northern Hemisphere—flashed and flickered in a dazzling celestial display as a rare geomagnetic storm made the aurora borealis appear farther south than it normally does.

And stargazers who stayed up late enough Friday through early Saturday lit up social media with photos from throughout the San Francisco Bay Area to capture what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration called an “unusual and potentially historic event.”

The source of the storm, per NOAA, “has mostly been a large, complex sunspot cluster that is 17 times the diameter of Earth.”

The storm was so powerful that the National Weather Service reported interference with high-frequency communications, GPS and the power grid.

A small island with trees sits in calm water under a night sky with stars and aurora-like lights.
Meteor showers were seen from China Camp Beach in San Rafael on Friday as the northern lights illuminated the sky of the San Francisco North Bay. | Source: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu via Getty Images

If you missed the spectacle, fear not: The light show could return again, with NOAA saying the geomagnetic storm may last through Sunday.