Northern Lights erupt over Crater Lake

Northern Lights erupt over Crater Lake
Copyright © 2012 Goldpaint Photography

It's rare to see the Northern Lights in Washington.

It's even rarer to see them in southern Oregon.

But a double-punch of a solar storm struck the Earth's atmosphere on Saturday, touching off a dazzling display of the Lights across the Northwest.

While cloudy skies doomed western Washington, the skies were clear around Crater Lake, and photographer Brad Goldpaint was ready.

He says there has never been a documented photo of the Northern Lights by Crater Lake until now.

Great shot, Brad!

There were some other sightings in Eastern Washington as well. YouNews contributor RockyR49 snapped a few photos from Keller, Washington in the northeastern mountains.

"The Aurora at its peak stretched approximately 100 degrees or more from west to east and the Auroral haze extended as high as Polaris," he wrote. "The evening was a gift. Exciting and beautiful."




The sun will be getting more active as it nears the peak of the current solar cycle and hopefully the skies will be clearing as we get into July and August.

But actually, this is the worst time of the year for aurora sightings in the Northwest only because the days are so long, the hours of true darkness are few. So you have to not only be lucky enough to get a strong enough show to see them this far south, but be up late enough for it to be really dark outside.

But as Brad and Rocky proved -- it's possible!