New Aurora alert issued after breathtaking spectacle grips South Australia

After two incredible nights, and thousands of unbelievable photos, a further Aurora alert has been issued for Monday night.

Photo credit: Her Vantage

UPDATE: As at 7:30pm tonight, the chances of seeing the aurora are now extremely low. If anything changes we’ll let you know!

After a truly mesmerising weekend, The Australian Space Weather forecasting centre have issued yet another Aurora Alert for tonight, May 13.

Now, we must pre-warn, a similar alert was issued this time yesterday and if you were like me you were left sorely disappointed. But if you were also like me and didn’t get the chance to see the show over the weekend, this may be your chance!

According to the Bureau of Meteorology’s website, a Geomatic storm is currently in progress with Aurora may be observed during local night time hours in good observing conditions at high latitudes.

The Aurora Australis is a natural light display predominantly seen in the southern hemisphere’s high-latitude regions, akin to its northern counterpart, the Aurora Borealis. It’s not something South Australians typically get to witness from their own backyards, however due to a severe geomagnetic storm that’s currently in progress, spectators were treated to quite the show!

This luminous phenomenon is caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere, a result of solar wind interacting with the Earth’s magnetic field.

The display features an array of colours, but most commonly green and pink, resulting from particles colliding with oxygen and nitrogen. The shapes and movements of the auroras are ever-changing, creating a dynamic and unique spectacle each time they appear.

As the geomagnetic storm continues, there is a strong chance to witness the lights again tonight, however it’s recommended to view in areas away from the city lights, so head to the regions, and make sure you use slow exposures or time lapse photography on your phone for the best chance of capturing the show!

If you’re after the nitty gritty of the timing and chances of the Aurora, click here.

You can also check Aurora forecast apps for more detailed information.

Experiencing the Aurora Australis can be a magical event, though it may not be as vivid as what you might expect. Here are some enhanced tips to help you make the most of this natural spectacle:

  1. Understand the Colours: The Aurora Australis often appears as faint hues of grey and pink. Occasionally, you might witness soft greens in the sky. These colours are generally subtle and might be challenging to see with the naked eye. Using a camera, even your smartphone, can enhance these colours in your photos, capturing more than what is visible directly.
  2. Using Your Smartphone: Modern smartphones are quite capable of photographing the Aurora. For iPhones, navigate to the Camera app, tap the arrow at the top of the screen to access advanced settings, and select the “Night mode” icon (resembles a crescent moon). Adjust the exposure time to about 10 seconds for the best effect. Stability is key, so resting your phone on a stable surface or using a tripod is advisable to avoid blurry images.
  3. Choosing the Right Location: To optimize your viewing experience, position yourself away from city lights. Rural areas are ideal. If you’re at the beach, find a spot where shadows can help your eyes adjust to the darkness. Using your phone’s camera in long exposure mode can act as a helpful viewfinder to detect the auroras, which might appear brighter on your screen than they do in person.
  4. Tips for DSLR Users: If you have a DSLR camera, enhance your chances by setting up away from artificial lighting. Mount your camera on a tripod to maintain stability, and use settings such as ISO 2000-4000, aperture at f/2.8, and a shutter speed of 15 to 30 seconds.

Additional Tips

  • Patience is Key: Auroras can be unpredictable. Be prepared to wait and keep your camera ready.
  • Dress Warmly: Nighttime viewings can get cold, especially away from urban warmth.
  • Check Aurora Forecasts: Websites and apps that track solar activity can help you plan the best nights for aurora viewing.

With these tips, you’re better prepared to capture and enjoy the elusive beauty of the Aurora Australis.

See yesterday’s epic gallery of Aurora Australis in South Australia here.

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