Southern Lights over Tasman Island
Well this was unexpected – on our recent hike out to Cape Pillar we caught the Southern Lights over Tasman Island! In my previous post I mentioned we got clouded out after our sunset/dusk shoot, but ever the optimist, we decided to get up early just in case – and then this happened:
The light show started out quite faintly which gave us time to find a nice vantage point – not the simplest task in complete darkness on 200 metre high clifftops!! We eventually found this great outlook to Tasman Island with the cliffs of Cape Pillar either side and settled in for a pre-dawn light show like no other.
To begin with there were very faint pink colours appearing in camera – and only the faintest movement of light visible to the naked eye.
Zodiacal Lights Too?
I don’t often shoot astro-panoramas, but this morning I decided to give it a crack – thinking a bit more of Cape Pillar in the shot could be good. As well as Cape Pillar, I also captured another light phenomenon – the zodiacal light, seen below as the white glow to the left (east). The zodiacal light is visible at the equinoxes ie late March and late September and a quick google search informs me it is in fact sunlight reflecting off dust in the inner solar system (read more here).
By this stage the aurora had gotten quite strong. The beams were visible to the eye, but it was gradually getting caught up in the dawn twilight too. It was time to head off for our sunrise shot.
A big shout out to Mark too for this shot of me in the dark lining up these shots 🙂