Rare Southern Lights Appear In Australia And New Zealand
Spectacular photographs documented an incredible storm that dominated the night sky deep in the southern hemisphere.
Vivid shades of green, orange and pink lit up the night over New Zealand, Tasmania and parts of south Australia in scenes that are an Instagrammer's dream.
It's hard to believe these are genuine photos instead of paintings or movie scenes.
But they are, in fact, real. They show the rarely-seen southern lights, or Aurora Australis.
The event captures the imagination, but this particular display was described as one of the best ever witnessed by local photographers.
Seriously. These views are simply mind blowing.
This image was taken by photographer Rovsen Giffard, who wrote on Instagram,
Aurora Australis stroke again tonight and it is probably still happening. It was just absolutely stunning as you could watch this beauty with your eyes without having to look at your camera. Oh Tasmania you are a beauty!
The lights display is rare, and even when it does appear, it's usually only visible in the remote South Pole.
But as this week's dazzling views made their way to Australia and New Zealand, they were captured by dozens of photographers across the region.
Oh -- it could also be seen from space, as this beautiful image taken by French astronaut Thomas Pesquet proves.
Sophie Fazackerley added this image and said the aurora "danced and twirled across the dark sky."
So many colors -- a bit like neon lights, different gases in the atmosphere give off different colors when excited by the charged particles from the sun. The typical brownish red, green and greenish yellow is from oxygen, while the blues, purples and deep reds are from nitrogen. There was obviously a lot of gas in the atmosphere last night!
Part of the aurora's mystique is in its fleeting nature.
Photographers usually only receive an hour's notice that it will appear, and even then it only stays visible for about 15 to 40 minutes.