The weather on top of Mount Washington doesn't always cooperate, but it did for just a bit.

The Mount Washington Observatory captured an incredible view of the northern lights when the clouds moved out of the way.

What are the northern lights?

According to Space, the northern lights (or aurora borealis) has taken our breath away for hundreds of years. It's a spectacular light show, and not a violent event.

Energized particles from the sun slam into Earth's upper atmosphere at speeds of up to 45 million mph, but our planet's magnetic field protects us from the onslaught. As Earth's magnetic field redirects the particles toward the poles — there are southern lights, too, — the dramatic process transforms into a cinematic atmospheric phenomenon that dazzles and fascinates scientists and skywatchers alike.

You often hear that you have to travel to Alaska, Iceland, or somewhere far to catch nature's amazing light show. But earlier this year in Scarborough, Maine, the northern lights were caught by a photographer. Sometimes the northern lights might be happening, but you can't see them. They are not visible to the naked eye.

Patrick Fennell used a special time-lapse video to catch the Southern Maine light show. It was simply amazing.


It's so great to have the Mount Washington Observatory in our backyard. It's a resource that feels special to New Englanders, but it's for the world. If you haven't experienced Mount Washington, you truly should. Take a drive up the Mount Washington Auto Road, or have them drive you. Tickets are half off right now, and with the fall colors around the corner, this might be exactly what you need.

Offbeat adventures: Travel to the coolest hidden wonders in every U.S. state

Fuel your offbeat travel dreams. Stacker found the coolest hidden wonders in all 50 U.S. states (plus D.C.) using data from Atlas Obscura.

[WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter private or abandoned property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing.]

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