The Aurora Australis impressed Tasmanians this week with a colour show we won't forget. Lucky stargazers saw the night sky awash with eerie coloured lights in vivid greens and pinks.
What causes the Aurora phenomenon? Here's a quick rundown:
- The sun emits charged particles called electrons.
- When this 'solar wind' makes contact with the Earth's magnetic field, the charged particles are funnelled towards the North and South Poles.
- The particles strike gases high in the atmosphere.
- When the gas molecules return to their normal state, they emit photons, bursts of energy in the form of light.
- Oxygen will give off a greenish-yellow and red light, while nitrogen emits a blue light.
Photographers, professionals and amateurs, took advantage of the stunning colours visible to the naked eye. Here's some of their work:
If you want to catch the next Aurora Australis, keep an eye on the Aurora Service forecast and check out this map of best location in Australia to view the southern lights.