Aurora Australis lights up the skies

Photographers take stunning images

LUKE APPLEBY
Last updated 12:23 20/02/2014

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Aurora Australis was out in full glory on Wednesday night which prompted many photographers to reach for their camera.

A geomagnetic storm began to hit Earth early in the evening, causing the phenomena, and intensified by about 10pm before dropping away before dawn.

While aurora are often only visible in southern New Zealand, photographers as far north as Manawatu reported capturing the spectacle on camera.

Long exposure photographs show the vivid bands of colour in the sky, which are caused by ions, electrons, protons, neutrinos and radiation being released from the Sun in an event known as a Coronial Mass Ejection, or CME, and hitting Earth's magnetic field.

Photographer and ex-Wellingtonian Brad Phipps grabbed his Nikon D3100 and took the opportunity to get some stunning photos.

"It's one of nature's phenomena that's really spectacular and being closer to the poles we're in the best spot for it," he said.

"Half the time though you never know how long they're gonna last; setting up for the best shot is often lost by scrambling to get your camera and tripod set up in time to avoid missing out on a fading aurora."

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- The Dominion Post

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