Aurora lights up the sky

Central Leader - - WHAT’S ON - STAFF RE­PORTER

Stargaz­ers in dif­fer­ent parts of the coun­try had a rare treat at the week­end, spot­ting the Aurora Aus­tralis light­ing up the night sky on two con­sec­u­tive nights.

The South­ern Lights were spot­ted from Auck­land, Can­ter­bury and the Otago Penin­sula on Satur­day. They then made an ap­pear­ance in Welling­ton on Sun­day, and were again spied in the sky over Can­ter­bury.

Pho­tog­ra­pher Lar­ryn Rae spot­ted the lights in Auck­land, he pre­vi­ously pho­tographed the Aurora, but said Satur­day night’s made ‘‘the last one look like play school’’.

What made the Aurora par­tic­u­larly un­usual was its light beams, which Rae didn’t be­lieve were nor­mally spot­ted from Auck­land.

Otago Mu­seum di­rec­tor Dr Ian Grif­fin cap­tured photos of the Aurora on the Otago Penin­sula.

The rain­bow colours were caused by a ge­o­mag­netic storm - the re­sult of a large hold in the sun’s sur­face.

Grif­fin, the for­mer head of pub­lic outreach at Nasa’s Space Telescope Sci­ence In­sti­tute, shared some tips for spot­ting them.

‘‘Get away from city lights, find a place with a good view to the south and keep your fin­gers crossed,’’ he said.

See­ing an Aurora from Auck­land was ‘‘quite rare’’.

Grif­fin said it was of­ten only vis­i­ble once ev­ery five years.


Lar­ryn Rae pre­vi­ously cap­tured the Aurora Aus­tralis in March.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.