Lights captured by many

AURORA: Amaetur photographer Andew Burston was happy with the outcome of the lights over the weekend. Picture: ANDREW BURSTON PHOTOGRAPHY

Charlotte Varcoe

THOSE across the South East were treated to a light show over the weekend with the Aurora Australis as flare and coronal ejections from the sun’s surface caused a severe geomagnetic storm.

Residents from across the region captured the phenomenon with amaetur photographer Andew Burston excited for the event.

“I have been chasing the Aurora Australis since about 2016 and captured my first one about 2017,” Mr Burston said.

“I enjoy the chase and getting the photos as I quite like night photography so it all goes along with that because it is something which is normally difficult.”

He said typically the lights could only be seen for a few minutes to half an hour and not by the naked eye.

“This was for an extended time so I really enjoyed it because I watched it all with my family,” Mr Burston said.

“Myself and others from the Limestone Coast Aurora Hunters group enjoyed watching it but also helping people with their photography when it was actually happening.

“It was really great to see the community out there helping each other with their cameras and phones.”

He said although the lights were always on the doorsteps of the South East, it had never been at this level.

“I have captured photos at the back of the lakes before and up in the grampians but not walking into my backyard and seeing it with the naked eye,” Mr Burston said.

“We had just returned from Port MacDonnell where we were taking photos at a few different spots but when I was home I took my dog out, saw it and thought it was huge.

“The sun has an 11 year cycle and we were in the middle of the solar maximum at the moment so we were very lucky.”

He said the last time the lights had been this prominent was in 2008 and encouraged anyone who was interested in chasing the Aurora Australis further to join the social media group.

“We have got a bit of information in there about how to capture these things as it is not always nice and easy, it can be a bit elusive and finicky,” Mr Burston said.

“The expectation to just walk out and see it as we did on Saturday is not realistic and it can be quite difficult, sometimes you need specialist camera equipment but those with more questions are happy to ask.”