No, it wasn't a flying saucer. It wasn't some fireworks factory exploding into the night sky, or some radio station's laser show.

"It was the most brilliant display of northern lights any of our people can remember in the last 30 years," Bill Alder, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Salt Lake, said Monday.In Utah, the lights were reported as bright red with white beams of light. The phenomenon, called "aurora borealis," is believed to occur from the interaction of charged sun particles with gases in the earth's upper atmosphere. Scientists had reported last week a lot of solar flare activity on the sun.

Usually the aurora borealis is seen near the Arctic Circle, but Monday morning the bright northern lights were seen across Utah, as well as Delaware and New York. It was first reported by observers in Green River about 10 minutes before midnight. The lights were particularly brilliant as observed from Price, Moab and Grand Junction, Colo.

Along the Wasatch Front, the northern lights made their appearance in the northwest and east between 3:30 a.m. and 4:15 a.m., eventually covering about 40 percent of the sky, said Alder.