What is the scientific name of the Southern Lights?
Arctic locales like Iceland and Norway draw hordes of aurora borealis hunters, but Mother Nature’s light show is also visible in the Southern Hemisphere, where it goes by the name “aurora australis.” The southern lights are visible in remote stretches of New Zealand, Australia, the Falkland Islands, Antarctica, and Argentina. Like the northern lights, most aurora australis sightings happen during the Southern Hemisphere’s fall and winter months, between March and September. And while the aurora australis may dance above the southern hemisphere, the science behind this light show mirrors the aurora magic up north: Auroras are the result of electrically charged particles from the sun colliding with gases across Earth’s atmosphere. Just like chasing the northern lights, finding the aurora australis requires a few key things, namely the right area, dark skies with little to no clouds, and low light pollution. Source: Smithsonian Magazine | Date Updated: May 27, 2021
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