Aurora last night

The Aurora Australis put on a great show last night. I had the best view of one  have ever seen, nothing like photos but impressive all the same.

I saw online that something big was brewing so kept a regular look out for it. For maybe an hour all I saw was what looked like a wide arched cloud or arch of fog on the southern horizon. Pictures on Twitter and Facebook showed more (photography can enhance the colours) so I persevered and then suddenly it sparked into life.

The result was a modest but nevertheless grand show for about half an hour.

I then went driving to try to get away from the city lights – I live to the east of the worst of Dunedin’s light pollution – and there were aurora seekers everywhere. I eventually found a vantage point on a beach near Brighton, but by then it was back to being just an arch on the horizon with little fluctuation.

This looks like it was taken at St Clair beach:

From Lee Stream – well away from city lights and at a bit ofd altitude:

I didn’t see as much colour but the vertical streaks were clearly visible.

Ian Griffin is always good for night pictures:

And a video:

Another from Lee Stream:

Lee Stream is still technically in Dunedin City but a long way out in the country, 36 km inland from the centre of the city (even further away than the airport.



  1. I’m so envious of those far enough south to have seen this. Some awesome photographs of this event. Thanks for thread Pete

  2. This shows why aurora photos show more light and colours than people see.

    The straight line from lower left to the brightness of the airport is an incoming 737, and shows how long the exposure is (if not longer).

    It’s not just the aurora that looks brighter, but also the airport and the lights of ther nearby Momona township.

  3. Kitty Catkin

     /  May 29, 2017

    (faints with envy)

    Any chance of it being seen in the Waikato ?

    • Unlikely I think, too far north.

      And it’s quite uncommon to get a good view in Dunedin too, I saw an aurora, sort of, in 2001, and have been out looking for them in the last few years a few times and looking from inside, but last night was my first decent view.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  May 29, 2017

        Bugger !

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  May 31, 2017

        The moon last night had what looked like a pink wash over and around it, as if someone had used highlighter on quite a large area (this is the best I can do) which looked beautiful. I don’t remember seeing this before. It wasn’t like a sunset, and sunset was long over, more like a transparent streak of colour wash.