The northern lights did not disappoint Friday night with brilliant displays of colour dancing across the Manitoba sky. 

People around the world heard about the strongest solar storm in years and there was a lot of anticipation leading up to the event. 

Northern lights.(Photo Credit: Elliot Smith)

On Thursday, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Centre issued its first Severe Geomagnetic Storm Watch since January 2005, after at least five coronal mass ejections directed at Earth were observed, with the estimated arrival time as early as mid-day Friday, and potentially lasting through Sunday. 

Northern lights.(Photo Credit: Annette Hiebert)

"A geomagnetic storm is a major disturbance of Earth's magnetosphere that occurs when there is a very efficient exchange of energy from the solar wind into the space environment surrounding Earth," explains the Centre's information page about the phenomenon. "The largest storms that result from these conditions are associated with solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs) where a billion tons or so of plasma from the sun, with its embedded magnetic field, arrives at Earth."

Northern lights.Northern Lights in Kleefeld. (Photo Credit: Cindy Giesbrecht)

During the day on Friday, Sean Walsh of Steinbach heard that you could see a dark spot on the sun by using solar eclipse glasses. 

“I could see a little dot on the sun when I put the eclipse glasses on from the solar burst, so yeah, it was quite interesting,” he says. 

Northern lights.(Photo Credit: Sean Walsh)

Throughout most of the night, jaw-dropping northern lights amazed skywatchers across North America and Europe. 

There is a chance for another night with the Aurora Borealis this evening. Walsh is hoping for a clear sky in the Steinbach area so he can get another good look at the northern lights. 

Northern lights.(Photo Credit: Edna)

Only three "Severe" geomagnetic storms have been observed during this current solar cycle which started in December 2019. 

Geomagnetic storms can cause issues with power grids and communication networks. According to the Saturday morning update from the Space Weather Centre, "Power grid irregularities and degradation to high-frequency communications and GPS," have been reported in some places in the U.S. 

Northern lights.(Photo Credit: Evan)
Northern lights.(Photo Credit: Gordon Reimer)
Northern lights.(Photo Credit: Henry Gellert)
Northern lights.(Photo Credit: Jessie Herlevsen)
Northern lights.(Photo Credit: Pam Barkman)
Northern lights.(Photo Credit: Adriana Chipilski)