Aurora Australis: Forget The Northern Lights, Have You Heard About The Southern Lights?

Written by Radha Vyas

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In the Northern Hemisphere we often get bombarded at this time of year with endless photographs and articles dedicated to the Northern Lights. We get so overwhelmed with information about the Aurora Borealis that you could be forgiven for thinking that countries like Iceland and Canada are the only places in the world where you can be treated to such a spectacle.

But you’d be wrong.

Move over Aurora Borealis because there’s a new – sort of – kid in town; the Aurora Australis. This Southern cousin is most commonly seen in the night skies of Tasmania, New Zealand and, of course, the Antarctic. The best time of year to catch a glimpse of them is normally between July and August during the Southern Hemisphere’s winter as the days are shorter and therefore darker. Because of the difference in seasons, you could actually spend the entire year watching the aurora dance across the night sky, if you really wanted to!

They say a picture speaks a thousand words and these photos will have you dreaming of a new way to see the aurora marvel.

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Sophie Fazackerley has taken numerous amazing photographs of the Aurora Australis from her home in Hobart, Tasmania but this is by far our favourite.

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This incredible image was taken by Paul Stringer in the Antarctic. We’re not entirely sure what’s going on in this picture, but whatever it is, we love it.

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A quick peruse through Brendan Turriff‘s instagram collection will have you yearning for the outdoors – and a trip to Tasmania! He has plenty of incredible Southern Lights snaps taken around Tasmania. This one shows a plane scorching its way across the night sky with the Aurora Australis lighting its way.

Related: 21 Epic Airplane Cockpit Photographs Taken by a BA Pilot. The Last One is Terrifying!

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Taken in July 2005, this photo shows the Southern Lights glowing during the long Antarctic night at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. Taken by Chris Danals for the National Science Foundation, it’s a wonderful example of how the scientific community in the Antarctic get to see the amazing Aurora Australis.

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This stunning image was taken by Paul Fleming (pictured) in Tranmere, a bayside suburb of Hobart. The green glow over the hills is almost ghost-like while the purple blanket of stars above really sets the scene for something quite wonderful.

aurora_australis_Forget_the_northern_lights_have_you_heard_about_the_southern_lightsMoving away from Hobart to Evandale, this starlit wonder was taken by Adam at the end of August this year. You can really get a feel of pure, unadulterated isolation in this image. The milky-way is clearly visible while the distant glow of the Aurora Australis just adds to the feeling of being in the middle of nowhere.

Related trip: Go on a Northern Lights safari on our Finland group tour

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You can also get unbelievable views of the Southern Lights in New Zealand, as you can see from this phenomenal picture taken in Allandale, Canterbury by Gregory Treadgold. The kaleidoscopic colours are some of the most impressive we have seen.

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Another one of Paul Stringer‘s incredible images. This one shows one of his colleagues posing in front of the natural phenomenon. The colours are so intense they seem to be reflecting off the snow and ice. If there was ever a reason to visit the Antarctic, this is it.

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This is a marvellous example of just how far north the Aurora Australis can reach, and what it can look like. It was taken in June 2013 near East Ridgley, Tasmania by Tim Cooper. Check him out – he has lots more amazing Southern Lights pictures!

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Taken on a farm just outside Ulverstone in Tasmania by James McIver. With just a hint of the aurora over the hills in the background, we especially love how strong the stars appear overhead. If only you could get a view like that from one of the UK’s farms…

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Taken by Life Catch Me, an Instagram based photographer, this image shows a particularly strong aurora over Howrah Beach in Tasmania. It’s wonderful how bright it appears, even with the city lights below.

aurora_australis_Forget_the_northern_lights_have_you_heard_about_the_southern_lightsBack to New Zealand for this little beauty which shows the milky way galaxy as seen above Queenstown. Taken by Trey Ratcliff, the composition has been carefully planned in such a way that the galaxy has lost her tilt, making for a beautiful image.

Related: Bucket List Travel: 9 Epic Experiences for Travellers over 30

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No list of photographs of the Aurora Australis would be complete without one from NASA. Taken from the International Space Station back in 2012, it is one of a series of photographs taken by NASA astronaut Joe Acaba.

Still want some more? Watch NASA’s amazing video of the Southern Lights taken from the International Space Station:

Don’t have the funds or the time to trek all the way to Australia to see the Southern Lights? How about a weekend in Iceland instead then?


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