Short June nights are usually terrible for catching aurora borealis, especially in the middle of the United States. But Monday night was pretty damn far out of the usual.

A massive solar flare that tickled the Earth’s magnetic field blew up the skies in ways that had amateurs and astronauts alike snapping gobsmacked photos. This is the sun’s power on display: One hiccup can turn a summer’s night in middle America into something straight outta Greenland (pictured above, in 2007).

To wit:

Aaaaaaaand the National Weather Service in Boise might’ve won the day. Just check out those luscious charcoals and brilliant slates!

Photos via Getty Images