Aurora lights up the sky
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.