A red aurora has been observed in Hokkaido, with the phenomenon visible to the naked eye.

The aurora, which was seen Friday, was apparently the result of a massive explosion that occurred on the sun's surface about two days earlier. Auroras occur when electrons from space collide with oxygen and nitrogen in the sky when they enter Earth along its magnetic field.

They tend to occur in regions around the Arctic and the Antarctic, but can be observed in low-latitude areas such as Hokkaido when they occur due to massive explosions on the sun's surface.

From an observatory in the town of Rikubetsu, Hokkaido, the aurora began to be seen around 8:20 p.m. Friday, followed by the aurora's red lights.

It is the first time since October 2003 that the brightness of a low-latitude aurora has been confirmed at the observatory, according to observatory officials.

"I didn't think I could see the red lights so clearly with the naked eye," said Takuya Murata, 51, a staff member of the observatory. "It's very moving."