MIA: Southern Lights

Last night DH and I drove out to the beach in the hope of catching a glimpse of the Southern Aurora. Usually its display is not seen this far north - and certainly not of the calibre of display on show this weekend - but with sky gazers seeing it in Auckland on Saturday night, we thought it was worth a try.

Alas, this is all we saw ...

(For those not in the know, these are the lights of town looking back from the river mouth.)

The Southern Aurora appears to be the lesser known sibling to the Northern Aurora. Just as spectacular, apparently, but seen less often. Perhaps because there's less open land devoid of lights from which to view it. Or perhaps because we have the erroneous idea that only the Northern Lights are worth chasing.

I had hoped for a glimpse of the Southern Lights when DH and I holidayed down south last year, even though it was 'out of season'. It was not to be.

Last night Wellingtonians were rewarded with a spectacular display. I'm almost tempted to drive south tonight just to see if we, too, can catch a glimpse.

However, we are not without hope. There is the chance that the display will be repeated in 25-28 days and this time I won't be giving up and going home before midnight. Not now that I know that an hour either side of midnight is the best time for viewing. (Why didn't I learn this before last night? At least we stayed longer than anyone else but we still left too early - that's if there was anything to see from our particular vantage point.)

And if this should prove futile? Well perhaps we can plan another trip down south. Between March and September. Or perhaps we can console ourselves with the thought that we think we may have seen the lights in the past when travelling late at night ... we just didn't realise at the time what the green or pink glow in the sky signified.