If you’re a keen astronomer or just happen to stumble out of Revs tonight at the right moment, you might just be able to see the beautiful-but-lesser-celebrated Aurora Australis from southern parts of Victoria tonight.
The Bureau of Meteorology posted up an aurora alert this week, confirming that conditions on Thursday night are ripe for viewing the Southern Lights…at about 3am. With clear skies and low moonlight making for a perfect evening of copping an eyeful of the light show in the sky, you’ll be able to really enjoy that post-pub kebab.
Aurora Australis is typically best-seen from our most southern mates over in Tassie, but considering Victoria’s weather forecast for tonight, us mainlanders should be able to catch a glimpse of a rare display from a few choice spots.
AURORA ALERT! Our Space Weather team says the #AuroraAustralis may be visible in southern #Victoria Wed 15th/Thurs 16th. Partly cloudy tonight but Thursday night should be mostly clear. Best view will be after 3am or so (no moon!) For more info on auroras https://t.co/A7xHLgG4Pl pic.twitter.com/OjEl2fieY2— Bureau of Meteorology, Victoria (@BOM_Vic) May 15, 2019
Apparently, an aurora light show at this time of year is pretty rare according to BoM, as they tend to happen around the equinoxes in March and September – when the Earth‘s magnetic field is interacting with the solar wind the most.
Look, I tried to look up what ‘solar wind’ is and I got extremely confused by particles and energy so I’m just accepting that it’s some kind of space…thing that I’ll never wrap my head around. Yep, some real solar science hours over here.
Much like how you can get a stunning amount of stars out when you’re out in the country (my favourite thing in the world), to up your chances of seeing Aurora Australis tonight you’re going to want to get yourself somewhere with minimal lights (like a headland or a deserted/remote beach) from around 3am when the moon sets.
Being right on the south coast will give you a better view of the aurora as well cos you’re closer to the South Pole. I mean this is what it looks like down in Antarctica this week which is frankly insane and I am constantly in awe of space.