The southern lights

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Feb 23rd, 2017, 02:57 PM
  #1
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The southern lights

We will be cruising NZ out of Sydney in early December with scenic cruising thru several sounds and stops in Dunedin, Wellington, Picton and Napier. Does anyone know if the lights will be visible then?

Thank you.
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Feb 24th, 2017, 01:03 AM
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It's not likely, but not impossible! In fact, an aurora is predicted for tonight. First, auroras are tied to solar flare activity (the cause of auroras is more complicated). Next, you need really clear night skies. These conditions can occur at any time of year. The aurora is often seen from Dunedin, but mostly in winter when the nights are longer and the sky is often clear. December is our wettest month, so the sky tends to be heavy with clouds (but NZ weather is unpredictable).

When you're here, I recommend you check the aurora forecaster (the KP arrow should be in the red area).
http://www.aurora-service.net/aurora-forecast/
Back in October 2016, cloudy skies cleared and revealed this beautiful aurora in Dunedin:
https://www.odt.co.nz/news/your-news...tralis-dunedin
And in September 2016:
https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/a...dunedin-aurora

I understand the aurora australis/southern lights are not are colourful or bright as the aurora borealis/northern lights. A camera on long exposure can capture colours not visible to our eyes.
https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/awe-our-auroras
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Feb 24th, 2017, 01:14 AM
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And, if an aurora is predicted and the sky is clear, you'd have to look south.
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Feb 24th, 2017, 06:05 AM
  #4
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Awesome info and thanks for those links. Lets hope we can be fortunate enough to see them. .
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