Northern Lights as seen around 1am from Campanet. | Pere March @peremarch22


The Northern Lights have been witnessed in Mallorca before, but it is a very rare event. Friday night's display was therefore unusual and it was also very intense.

Salvador Sánchez of the observatory in Costitx explains: "It is not normal for Northern Lights like these to be seen from Mediterranean latitudes. You usually have to go to Finland or Norway. A colleague of ours from the observatory went to Finland a week ago to see them. But it now turns out that he could have seen them here in Mallorca."

Sánchez says that the last such event was about ten years ago but was "very brief and small", nothing like what was seen on Friday. "We started seeing it around ten o'clock. An hour later it was still clearly visible. Over the sea, in the northern part of Mallorca, it looked very good. It was very big and long."

The reason for having been able to witness the phenomenon is a severe geomagnetic storm, a solar storm. "It's seen when solar activity is very high, and there is currently a large spot on the Sun, similar to the solar storm of 1859, an event that caused the failure of telegraph systems in Europe and the US."