Northern (and southern) lights

Whether southern lights will appear in the sky above New Zealand in the next few days - or not - I don't know. I hope so. I'll look out for it.

But what I do know, is this:

During my time in Svalbard I learned to trust www.swpc.noaa.gov/pmap/pmapN.html predictions for Aurora Borealis or, in other words, northern lights. Up there, almost everyone did. You see, I was lucky enough to work through the polar night and experience first-hand what it's like when the sky is set alight. It was beautiful.

Luckily for me, NOAA has a map for southern hemisphere, too, at www.swpc.noaa.gov/pmap/pmapS.html . At the moment it looks like this:


Technically these maps show much more than "where northern/southern lights are", but to put it into simple words: the more color there is above where you are on the map, the better the chance that you'll see northern/southern lights.

So at the moment I'd say... nah, there isn't much happening. But! If you ever see that yellow circle extend above New Zealand (which sits at about nine o'clock on the map) and it's dark outside and there aren't clouds and you want to grab some photos of southern lights: grab your clothes and your camera and go. Really.

These, for example, are straight from my simple little point-and-shoot camera, I haven't even cropped them. And though I know that it's probably a little silly to talk about southern lights in New Zealand and show northern lights I photographed in Svalbard, at 78 degrees north... I haven't seen southern lights in New Zealand yet, so I haven't got local stuff to show off.

In Svalbard they looked like this:








Northern lights are awesome, man.

And, pssst!, I'm hoping to see some New Zealand stuff this winter. Up on this hill there's very little light pollution, so fingers crossed.

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