A snapshot of the Northern Lights late Monday night. Thanks to GeekWire reader Richard Burte for sharing the great picture he took from Snoqualmie.

Monday night provided a rare opportunity for space-enthusiasts and photographers as the Northern Lights were visible around the northern part of the world. Several Seattleites snapped some amazing photos, like the one above from GeekWire reader Richard Burte at Snoqualmie. He also created a gallery from last night.

Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis, appear when particles in space interact with Earth’s magnetic field. There was a coronal mass ejection on the sun late Thursday, Oct. 4, which is essentially a huge explosion on the sun. The solar particles from that explosion, traveling at 400 miles per second, reached Earth three days later at about 9:30 p.m PT Monday night, resulting in the magnificent sky shows.

Local blogs from West Seattle and Capitol Hill also had some great shots. Space.com has some incredible pictures taken from all over the world last night, including Michigan, Canada and Germany.

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