“During the strongest geomagnetic storm in the last decade, we in Tasmania missed the height of it on Mar 17 due to complete cloud cover,” says Sophie. “We got the consolation prize the next night though and this photo was taken at 9:40 AEDT at Howden, near Hobart.”

    Photo Credit: Sophie Fazackerley

    Sophie Fazackerley took this image of the aurora australis over Hobart, Tasmania on 15 March, 2015.

    “The range of colours was amazing, but they soon changed to mainly greens on the horizon with an interesting auroral form called a ‘patch’ – looking like a bright green cloud in the sky, and a proton arc to the right of the photo,” she said.

    Photo Credit: Sophie Fazackerley

    Photographer Martin took this image of the aurora australis from Cape Schanck, Victoria.

    Photo Credit: Martin Au

    The aurora australis from the South Island of New Zealand

    Photo Credit: BeckerG/www.flickr.com/photos/gb-photostream/16533152871

    The aurora australis, taken from Cantebury, New Zealand.

    Photo Credit: Ben/www.flickr.com/photos/seabirdnz

    The aurora australis from Dunedin, New Zealand.

    Photo Credit: James Kirkus-Lamont/www.flickr.com/photos/jimmykl/16660061458

    The aurora australis taken from Tasmania on 18 March 2015.

    Photo Credit: Tim Cooper/www.flickr.com/photos/tim_cooper/16859983052

    The aurora australis from the Mt Nelson signal station, Tasmania.

    Photo Credit: Tim Cooper/www.flickr.com/photos/tim_cooper/16704798836

    18 March, 2015. Corinne Le Gall took this image the night after the main solar storm hit, from Jervis Bay, NSW.

    Photo Credit: Corinne Le Gall

    The aurora australis from Cape Schanck, Victoria.

    Photo Credit: Martin Au

    The aurora australis, seen from Seven Mile Beach in Tasmania at 2.30 am on the 19th of March.

    Photo Credit: Andy Page

    One of the Expedition 40 crew members aboard the International Space Station recorded this colorful image of Aurora Australis on July 15, 2014. Achernar (just to the right of center) is the brightest and most easily recognizable star in this generally southward view. The orbital outpost was flying at an altitude of 225 nautical miles over a nadir point located at 51.6 degrees south latitude and 110.3 degrees east longitude. Two solar array panels are partially visible in an edge-on angle on the right side of the frame.

    Photo Credit: NASA/iss040e065857

    “With a bright moon rising (90.7% illumination), the aurora was strong enough to show on the horizon, with faint beams reaching high into the sky. The advantage of moonlight is that it lights up the foreground nicely,” says Sophie.

    Photo Credit: Sophie Fazackerley

Aurora Australis may light up Australian skies this week

By Holly Cormack | May 15, 2019

Nature’s most spectacular light show may make a rare appearance in skies of southernmost Australia.

Due to heightened solar activity, avid stargazers may witness an explosion of red, green and purple light in the early hours tomorrow (Thursday).

According to Bureau of Meteorology Space Weather expert Dr Zahra Bouya, the vibrant light show rarely occurs at this time in the solar cycle and is due to a number of solar eruptions from the sun’s visible surface.

“We are currently monitoring two coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which are large clouds of plasma that are ejected from the sun and travel at high speeds through space,” she says. “They are both relatively slow moving and our model predictions have them passing over us on 15 and 16 May.”

The colourful light show will be best viewed from parts of Tasmania and southern areas of Victoria, but like its northern counterpart, the Aurora borealis, it is very difficult to predict with precision.

“While there is a greater chance that Aurora australis enthusiasts may witness the spectacular show of lights this week, it’s never guaranteed. To see the aurora, you’ll need a very dark and clear night so early morning, after the moon sets, between 3am and 5am, is best over the coming days. Headlands or a dark beach are usually the best viewing spots.”

Bureau meteorologist Philip Landvogt says the best viewing conditions in Tasmania would be along the east coast, north of Hobart, although partly cloudy conditions were currently forecast.

“In southern Victoria, cloudy skies are forecast on Wednesday with the best viewing conditions expected on Thursday night when it will be mostly clear with just some isolated fog patches,” he says.


For more information about Aurora australis visit the Bureau’s Blog or  sign up for alerts about auroras from the Bureau of Meteorology Here.