WORLD

Aurora Australis Is Here And It's Giving NZ A Natural Vivid Festival

Aurora Australis hits the Southern night sky

29/05/2017 4:14 PM AEST | Updated 29/05/2017 4:18 PM AEST

If you've been alive in the past 20 years, then you'll know this iconic scene.

In addition to Principal Skinner's kitchen, this light show was also visible on the New Zealand and Tasmanian horizon last night.

Aurora Borealis' southern cousin, Aurora Australis, was in full display last night.

The sky was so clear that the light show was visible as far as Christchurch, according to The NZ Herald.

It was also quite high aurora activity, measuring seven on the Kp index which has a maximum measurement of nine, reported by Newshub NZ.

So what exactly is the Aurora Australis?

The colourful light display is the result of charged particles interacting with the Earth's magnetic field.

Varying colours are due to the excited states of the different atoms releasing light.

The electrically charged particles interacting to the magnetic atmosphere are from the Sun.

On the surface of the Sun, it is highly pressurised and incredibly hot. The resulting plasma, or solar wind, is then forcefully hurtled towards the Earth.

It is then deflected by the magnetic field or it interacts with the field at its weakest locations - the North and South Poles.

Whether you understand the science or not, it's still a magnificent sight.

ALSO ON HUFFPOST AUSTRALIA

MORE:World

More On This Topic