Tam Mullen paddleboarding under the Northern Lights on Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland.

A severe solar storm reached the Earth on Tuesday, contributing to a display of the aurora with the potential to stretch as far south as Oregon in the US, as well as being visible across unexpected reaches of the southern hemisphere. Two blasts of magnetic plasma left the sun on Sunday, eventually combining and arriving on Earth on Tuesday about 15 hours earlier and much stronger than expected, said Thomas Berger, director of the Space Weather Prediction Centre in Boulder, Colorado.