Photos: Aurora borealis in Kansas

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Post last updated at 1:21 p.m. Saturday, May 11:

Although not much of the northern lights’ glory was visible to the naked eye Friday night, Lawrence residents quickly discovered that their phones could “see” more than they could.

Solar flares are causing a geomagnetic storm that should make it possible for Kansas City and other cities in the middle of the country to see the aurora borealis, which can usually only be glimpsed in northern latitudes. This article from Kansas News Service did a great job explaining what’s happening.

Michelle Bailey took these photos just north of McLouth, which is about 15 miles north of Lawrence.

“We could see the pink/purple tint to the sky with the naked eye,” Bailey said. “One on the advantages to being away from the city lights.”

Julia Redmond took some photos south of Trivedi Wine, near East 1150 and North 1800 roads, and a few more near her home in the Deerfield neighborhood.

Alton Hall snapped this photo from Ottawa, which is about 25 miles south of Lawrence.
Sarah Muninger Tullis took this photo in Parsons, which is about 115 miles south of Lawrence.
Jessica Sullivan Smith took this photo from Tonganoxie, which is about 12 miles northeast of Lawrence.
Mark Potts/Lawrence Times Mark Potts took the top photo on this post and this photo from approximately the same location — west of Bob Billings Parkway and Kansas Highway 10 — but this one around 12:20 a.m. Saturday.
Mark Potts/Lawrence Times A car drove by as Potts took this long-exposure shot.

Meanwhile, humanmade lights were aglow across Lawrence.

August Rudisell/Lawrence Times Lawrence looking northwest from 23rd Street and Haskell Avenue, May 10, 2024

However, scientists urge people to turn off any unnecessary lights at night this time of year. Many millions of birds die each year by slamming into windows, and light pollution during migration season increases the risks, according to another great Kansas News Service article from Friday.

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Note: This post has been corrected from a previous version.

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