People were watching the skies Thursday night, hoping to get a glimpse of the northern lights, which are seldom seen in the southern parts of Canada.

The lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, are most often seen on clear winter nights in the auroral zone. This time, however, the lights expanded southward thanks to a solar eruption on Tuesday.

The intense burst of often greenish light occurs when charged particles from the sun are thrust along Earth’s dominant magnetic field lines and dive into the atmosphere, colliding with oxygen, nitrogen and other gas molecules.

Residents in Ottawa caught glimpses of the lights through cloudy skies, but the aurora was seen most brightly in Europe.

Here are a few images of the Aurora Borealis lighting up the sky around the world on Thursday night.