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Aurora borealis in Northern California leaves many speechless

Northern California residents enjoy colorful display in the night sky
Northern California residents enjoy colorful display in the night sky 02:17

SACRAMENTO – The colorful display in the night sky was caused by a solar flare and for the first time in decades, you could see it in Northern California, stirring up quite the excitement.

A rare spectacle in Northern California – an aurora borealis.

"It was just an amazing site to see," said Anahi Ballesteros, who lives in Stockton.

A pinkish-purple hue stretched across the sky leaving viewers speechless.

"It's been a lifelong dream to see the northern lights and I never thought in a million years it would happen in my backyard," said Marina Aria, from Davis.

According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the event caused by a series of solar flares resulted in geomagnetic storms directed at Earth.

These types of storms can sometimes impact infrastructure like the power grid and satellite operations and disrupt radio signals and navigation.

FEMA said no damage has been reported.

Additionally, these storms also produced aurora borealis displays in different parts of the Earth, as seen in Northern California - spanning across the country into parts of Tennessee and Alabama.

"Everything came to life, the stars were there," Ballesteros said.

Ballesteros, a fifth-grade teacher in Stockton, drove with her family up an eight-mile road to capture pictures. 

"Kind of like a photo frame from Alaska but you buy it here, but it's like wow we're just seeing it in Stockton," Ballesteros said. 

In Davis, Aria and her husband drove out of town to catch a glimpse for themselves.

"I was so emotional. My eyes started welling up," Aria said.

Local police departments are also catching the action, posting to Facebook.

A site usually only seen in the northern part of the globe giving Californians a rare glimpse.

"This totally changed my pallet for nature," Aria said. 

The northern lights could be seen as far south as Modesto and although the storm has weakened, you may be able to catch it again Saturday night.

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