Aurora australis light up Australia

By AG Staff March 31, 2015
Reading Time: 2 Minutes Print this page
Southern lights have been seen in unusually northern locations in Australia

AURORA CHASERS HAVE been delighted recently by the unusually strong light shows seen across Australia, from Perth to Uluru.

The southern lights are typically only seen in the very south of the country, mostly in Tasmania. But a particularly large solar storm around 17 March. 

Auroras occur when a stream of charged particles emitted from the Sun makes its way to Earth. During periods of high solar activity, sunspots form and produce coronal mass ejections (CMEs). These are like gusts of wind that can reach speeds of a few thousand kilometres per second and contain a massive amount of energy. These CMEs interact with atoms in Earth’s magnetic field to cause auroras.

Different atoms create different colours, the most common being red and green for oxygen, and green and blue for nitrogen.

You can sign up for alerts about auroras from the Bureau of Meteorology HERE.