What are the Southern Lights?
Many travelers have heard of the famous Northern Lights, but are surprised and intrigued to learn that the Southern Lights exist too. The Southern Lights are also known as Aurora Australis, and they are visible only in the southern hemisphere. The top locations to see the Southern Lights are the southernmost destinations in the world, including Tasmania and New Zealand.
The scientific explanation for Aurora Australis is the same as for its northern counterpart the Aurora Borealis. When charged particles emitted by the sun strike atoms in the atmosphere, electrons in those atoms change energy states. Auroras are produced when the particles of these solar winds and the earth’s magnetic field collide. As they return to their resting state they emit light as various colours, and this is what we call the aurora. Typically the Southern Lights show as purple, yellow and even red, unlike the Northern Lights which tend to emit green and blue light.