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                   Sunday, July 15, 2012 - 5:08AM CDT

Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) over Illinois/St. Louis metro

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An X-class solar flare on Thursday produced a coronal mass ejection that impacted earth on Saturday into Sunday, producing a display of vivid auroras visible all the way into southern Illinois and the St. Louis metro area. The display had several peaks, the most impressive right before sunrise. The following images are of the show over rural Clinton County near New Baden, IL (click each image for a larger version).

This first image is of the auroras at their brightest. Notice the meteor streaking downward at the upper right:

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