Aurora Australis: The Magical Southern Lights
When the cosmic energies are at play it produces the most enchanting visual spectacle in the night sky. Nature’s light show you can call it, that is like a splash of colors over the dark sky. If you haven’t been able to guess what I am talking about, then you must read this post as am sure you will be mesmerised!
I am talking about Auroras, seen particularly in the polar regions. Clyde had written about Aurora Borealis or northern lights visible in the sky from the Northern Hemisphere, so now lets look at its southern counterpart, Aurora Australis or the southern polar lights.
To give you a better idea, Auroras are formed when electrons and protons coming from the sun, known as solar wind, collides with the atoms and molecules of the Earth’s upper atmosphere. When collisions of such high magnitude occur its bound to have produce something unbelievable. This collision excites the electrons and molecules causing the release of various colors of light.
Aurora Australisis only visible from high southern latitudes in Antarctica, South America, or Australasia. Here are some images of Aurora Australis.
Auroras appear in many forms like arcs, streaks, curtains that extend in the east-west direction.
Different gases will produce different colours. Most of them have been in varied shades of red, yellow, green, blue and violet. Nitrogen molecules produce blue or violet aurorae or atomic oxygen emits red and green.
Aurora Australis can be seen at the South Pole during the six months from March to September. It generally lasts around 15 to 40 minutes and may recur in 2 to 3 hours. If not Antarctica where it mostly occurs, you can also get to see Aurora Australis in Tasmania, Australia and Wellington, New Zealand. You can also watch a video on how do Auroras occur?
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