Aurora Australis, Queenscliff Pier, Victoria.

Ern Mainka

Melbourne, Australia

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Artist's Description

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.’

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astronomy atmospheric aurora optics sky

Artwork Comments

  • Helen Simpson
  • Michael  Bermingham
  • SylviaHardy
  • susantrigg
  • Ern Mainka
  • sweetscent62
  • Duncan Waldron
  • Leeo
  • Erial
  • Elaine Manley
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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