as a result of a huge solar flare that occurred last week, energetic particles from the sun have shot out all over the solar system causing spectacular auroras on earth!
here is the view of the solar flare from NASA'a SOHO satellite. the video includes a bit of explanation, or read phil plait's explanation here.
when those electrically charged solar wind particles come barreling toward the us, the earth's magnetic field naturally guides the particles to the north and south magnetic poles, where they interact with gas in earth's upper atmosphere. the gas glows as a result.
here are some of the resulting views over northern norway. the green glow comes from molecular oxygen in our atmosphere. incredible!