Northern Lights glow near Chicago

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Believe it or not, the Northern Lights passed over Door County, Wisconsin, this month.

Des Plaines resident Chris Biela was there to capture the awe-inspiring glow with a time-lapse video.

"I was jumping out there, literally, when I saw it," says Biela.

Exciting and also relieving, considering Biela spent an entire night outside continuously photographing the sky. For every five seconds of the video, he had to shoot 120 photos.

"That was a once-in-a-decade sort of event," explains Adler Planetarium Astronomer Geza Gyuk.

Closer to the North Pole, the Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis, can be seen frequently.

Gyuk says the phenomenon comes from charged particles drifting away from the sun. This "solar wind" disrupts the Earth's magnetic field, creating the awesome glow.

Gyuk also says unusually powerful discharges from solar flares can disturb the magnetic field enough that the Northern Lights move farther south. They've been recorded as far as Cuba!
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