Aurora Australis Tasmania May 2013: Cradle Mountain!
I am sure regular readers know of my obsession with the aurora australis as many of my posts since last spring would attest 🙂 Early this month I was shooting the autumn colours at Cradle Mountain and in the very early hours of May the 2nd the aurora australis popped up behind the snowy crags of Cradle Mountain!
Apparently during the evening of May 1 in most areas of Tasmania the aurora had been very strong and vibrant with multiple vertical beams appearing, however, the entire Dove Lake area was clouded out all night. I woke myself periodically hoping to shoot some star trails but not until around 5:00 in the morning of May 2 was the sky clear enough for a shoot. And to my surprise there was also an aurora going on!
These were the best shots I could manage during the short time available to me before morning twilight. I also had moonlight on the scene too which was great for illuminating Cradle Mountain but not so great in terms of washing out the aurora a little. The vertical beams are somewhat visible, as is the green and purple/pink layers of the aurora.
2013 is perhaps our last chance of seeing the aurora on a somewhat regular basis as this year is Solar Maximum – a period of extra high solar activity which peaks cyclically roughly every 11 years. The best places for seeing the aurora in Tasmania are any location that offers a clear view of the southern horizon. If you can add a well known landmark such as Cradle Mountain or the Hazards at Coles Bay as well that is quite the bonus 🙂
NEW: Aurora Australis Tasmania page with links to all my aurora related posts, and other online references.