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Aurora Australis, Queenscliff Pier, Victoria. by Ern Mainka

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Aurora Australis, Queenscliff Pier, Victoria. by 

Aurora Australis (or Southern Aurora) March 1990, from Queenscliff Pier, Victoria, Australia.
This aurora appeared out of the darkness unexpectedly just before driving back to Melbourne after a days outing. It’s sudden appearance grew and peaked in brightness in less than a minute and gradually diminished over about 10-15 minutes. The yellow/green band of light above the horizon is also aurora light.
Nikon F3, Fuji RDP film.
© Ern Mainka

Severe Geomagnetic Storm Intervals in History
And Future Prospects…

‘….Historically, some of the most intense geomagnetic and auroral storms have occurred during the declining years of the solar cycle. For example, the most severe geomagnetic storm on record occurred on 17 September 1941. That was 53 months after the solar maximum. In fact, this 1941 storm occurred during a time when the sun was closer to the solar minimum than the solar maximum. Severe geomagnetic storms have also occurred within just a few months of the Sun’s actual solar minimum as well, which confirms the fact that significant space weather activity can occur at any time during the solar cycle.

We hope that this information will help dispell the popular myth that geomagnetic and auroral storm activity on the Earth will stop now that we have passed the solar maximum. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Statistically, the declining years of the solar cycle are the most stormy in terms of geomagnetic and auroral activity.’


  • Helen Simpson
    Helen Simpsonalmost 7 years ago

    Wonderful colour in the Aurora and beautifully captured, Ern.

  • Michael  Bermingham
    Michael Bermi...almost 7 years ago


  • SylviaHardy
    SylviaHardyalmost 7 years ago

    This is just so beautiful again!

  • susantrigg
    susantriggalmost 7 years ago

    I had no idea that we occasionally got the Southern Aurora down here! What a fabulous capture

  • Ern Mainka
    Ern Mainkaalmost 7 years ago

    It’s rather rare to see it from Victoria especially as bright as this one was. We’re at solar minimum in the sun spot frequency cycle at the moment but large eruptions can occurr at any part of the cycle. There was a good one last year but I missed it. Sometimes it’s been seen as far north as outback Queensland border – away from city lights.

  • sweetscent62
    sweetscent62almost 7 years ago

    WO W Awesome Ern!! : ) well captured… Wen x

  • Duncan Waldron
    Duncan Waldronalmost 7 years ago

    Nice one, Ern. I photographed a fair few aurorae from central Scotland over the years, and was in the habit of always checking the sky each night, just in case something was happening. When I first arrived Down Under in Feb 86, I couldn’t sleep, partly because of the heat, and partly because of jet-lag. I lay on the floor in front of a fan, thinking ‘I should check the sky,’ but couldn’t be bothered. That night there was a rare blazing red aurora (at solar minimum), and a friend nearby thought ‘I should call Duncan, but he’s probably tired from jet lag’ :-( I saw the pic on the cover of the local paper later on.

    I’ll see if I’ve got any aurora pics handy.

  • Leeo
    Leeoalmost 7 years ago

    WoW. Must have been wonderful to experience this first hand :)

  • Erial
    Erialalmost 7 years ago

    I am amazed this was in lil old Queenscliff! I had no idea that was even possible. Incredible work.

  • Elaine  Manley
    Elaine Manleyalmost 7 years ago

    awesome I would love to see one of these for real one day

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