The lights appeared in the sky during the quake. © Claudia Daut / Reuters
The lights could be seen flashing above Mexico City in hues of greens and white. Video uploaded from the scene shows the dramatic display.
— L4L0 (@lalocedeno) September 8, 2017
— Jorge Gregorio (@galvezgregory0) September 8, 2017
Little is known about the phenomenon, which can sometimes be explained by exploding generators or power systems. Another explanation claims that the tectonic movement of rocks including quartz, generates a piezoelectric field which produces flashes of light.
A 2014 study said the stress of the tectonic plates can break apart pairs of negatively-charged oxygen atoms, pushing them towards the Earth’s surface and forming a light-emitting plasma when it combines with air.
A tsunami warning is in place following Friday’s earthquake, the strongest in a century. At least five people are reported dead with the number expected to rise.
Time Location15.029°N 93.807°W Depth 35.0 km