Some friends and I went to Highlander Brewing Friday night to enjoy a brew and a slice of pizza. Midway through a conversation I brought up that the Northern Lights would be viewable in Montana. So I looked at the two people who hadn't been drinking and asked if they could drive us out of town to check them out. Thanks to our sober friends we saw some incredible views.

I had never seen the Northern Lights before and they did not disappoint. We drove up to the lookout just south of St. Ignatius on Hwy. 93. Getting out of the city with limited light pollution made the views stunningly beautiful.

Everybody and their mothers were posting pictures of the Northern Lights, but if you care to delve into more then look at the mini gallery I shot Friday night. The pictures don't look real. These photos have a grainy vibe that makes it look like ChatGPT created these, but I assure you they are all real. My friends in Minnesota & Wisconsin submitted some of the photos below.

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What's great is the color palettes were different between Montana and Minnesota. As you'll see, Montana had more of a red/green tint while Minnesota's was a roaring purple... maybe because they're all Minnesota Vikings fans.

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Montana Northern Lights Pictures

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Space.com describes the phenomenon as an event where "energize particles of the sun" collide with the upper atmosphere. The particles are redirected thanks to the Earth's magnetic field which then creates the colorful nighttime lights. Conditions on May 10-12 helped push the Northern Lights farther south.

Gallery Credit: Rob Carroll