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Locals react to aurora borealis over the weekend

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, were seen across the United States and the world last week, including Yuma.

The lights are normally found in Iceland, the northern parts of Sweden, Finland, Norway, Russia, Canada, Alaska, and Southern Greenland.

But the lights were visible locally due to a geomagnetic storm.

"Such a surreal event that it's very hard to describe its one of those things where you just have to see it and experience it and words really don’t do any justice to the beauty of it," said Scott Donnelly, Arizona Western College Chemistry Professor.

Professor Donnelly traveled out near Yuma Proving Ground to view the spectacle.

However, not everyone got to experience the unique spectacle.

Fabian Felix, a local student at Arizona Western College was up all night studying and realized too late what was going on. 

"I’ve seen photos of it online and honestly it looked really cool because of how purple it was but I kind of wish I just saw it in person cause I know that like cameras could never do it justice," said Felix.

Professor Donnelly explained why seeing the northern lights should be on everyone’s bucket list.

"Add it to your bucket list anything with natural phenomena that happens every so often in your particular area put it on your bucket list to see it because who knows the next time it’ll happen," said Professor Donnelly.

According to the Space Weather Prediction Center, this was the first severe geomagnetic storm watch since January 2005.

The aurora borealis is a "result of electrons colliding with the upper reaches of the Earth's atmosphere," according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

While the aurora borealis consists of green, red, and purple lights, residents of the Desert Southwest caught glimpses of the red-pink hues on Friday.

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Eduardo Morales

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