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The Aurora Australis, or southern lights, are regularly visible in southern New Zealand skies. They inspire artists, photographers and stargazers, and fascinate scientists who wish to understand their secrets.
Join Professor Craig Rodger, photographer Simone Jackson and Otago Museum Director Dr Ian Griffin as they explain the science of auroras, discuss where to see them locally, and show you how best to capture them on camera. They will also be celebrating the launch of a new aurora alert website that will help stargazers in Dunedin and the lower South Island predict when they will see an aurora.
5.30pm, Tuesday 1 August
$5 per person, bookings essential
Professor Craig Rodger, Head of the Department of Physics at the University of Otago and active space weather researcher
The sun is not just a huge light bulb sending heat and light to us – it is a gigantic fiery ball of burning gas on which the largest explosions in our solar system take place. The highly dynamic sun affects the Earth in multiple ways. We are only just starting to understand how the sun drives 'space weather' – changes in the environment on and around the Earth which affect our technological systems and produce the aurora.
Simone Jackson, NZIPP accredited, multi-award winning Dunedin photographer and enthusiastic aurora chaser
Photographing the Aurora Australis is an incredible and fun experience. You don't need to be a technical guru or own an expensive camera to be able to photograph the remarkable southern lights. Simone shares her experience and knowledge of how to, and how not to, photograph auroras – including having a basic kit, safety, and hints on where to go.
Dr Ian Griffin, Otago Museum Director and dedicated aurora chaser
Ian Griffin tells how he became fascinated by auroras, and talks about some of the best local places to witness these amazing phenomena.
Image credit: Simone Jackson