Aurora puts on a show for the South

Ethan Van Staden was stoked with his first attempt at shooting an aurora on Sunday night. Photo:...
Ethan Van Staden was stoked with his first attempt at shooting an aurora on Sunday night. Photo: Ethan Van Staden
Night sky-watchers in southern parts of the country witnessed a spectacular aurora on Sunday night, and numerous pictures were posted to social media.

Dunedinite Ethan Van Staden photographed his first aurora on Sunday with this breathtaking self-portrait in the dunes at Blackhead Beach.

"That was my first time capturing the aurora, so pretty stoked how it came out," Van Staten said.

The image was a 30-second exposure at f2.8 and ISO3200 through a 24mm lens, so he had to stand pretty still.

The aurora australis is generally more common through the winter months and at the spring Equinox (in September) but can be viewed all year round.

Andrew Clark, also of Dunedin, had to hold his breath for 25 seconds for his shot of the aurora. He was on the beach for a total of three hours and snapped his picture using a wide-angle lens at f3.5, again at ISO3200. The result drew comments of "wow" and "stunning as always" and "fantastic" from Clark's followers on Facebook.

Andrew Clark held his breath for 25 seconds to get this shot of the aurora australis. Photo:...
Andrew Clark held his breath for 25 seconds to get this shot of the aurora australis. Photo: Andrew Clark
Sunday night's light show was the result of an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection (CME) from a long-lasting solar flare on March 10.

The resultant geomagnetic storm peaked overnight on Sunday, but activity will continue for a few more days and the sky will put on a bit of a show over the next few days.

New Zealand Aurora Australia Facebook group recommended hopeful aurora watchers should watch readings carefully for solar activity. KP (expected geomagnetic conditions) were presented as an average on aurora apps and the magnitude is known to fluctuate. But if numbers do dip it should be short-lived.

Comments

Woah ! Absolutely Fantastic photos. Respect for your patience. Thankyou for letting us see them.

 

Advertisement

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter