Only infrequently do the lights, created when solar particles collide with Earth's magnetic field, drift to more median latitudes. One such show occurred last week after a large solar flare buffeted Earth with gusts of solar wind. In the United States, auroras glowed as far south as Maryland and Iowa, while in the southern hemisphere they could be seen above New Zealand.
It was a rare happening, which made it all the more frustrating for people whose view was blocked by clouds or drowned by city lights. So for everyone who didn't get a chance to see that summertime show, a consolation prize: videos of the northern and southern lights as seen from the space station.