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Skygazers are in for a treat (stock)

Skygazers In For A Treat

Skygazers In For A Treat

Skygazers are in for a treat (stock)

Skygazers In The South West Have A Chance To See Aurora Australis Tonight

Over the next few nights, those with a passion for astronomy or just those who love looking up in the sky are in for a treat.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology's Space Weather Services, tonight and tomorrow night offer the best opportunity to see Aurora Australis.

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Bureau of Meteorology Space Weather expert Dr Zahra Bouya says the spectacular light shows are relatively rare for this time of the solar cycle and are due to a number of solar eruptions from the sun's visible surface.

"We are currently monitoring two coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which are large clouds of plasma that are ejected from the sun and travel at high speeds through space. They are both relatively slow moving and our model predictions have them passing over us on 15 and 16 May."

"When this material reaches Earth, most of it is deflected by the planet’s magnetic field. But as the CME passes over the Earth its magnetic field may connect with ours allowing huge amounts of energy to be transferred to our magnetic field, generating geomagnetic storms that can last for two or three days and produce dramatic auroras over successive nights,"

Cloudy conditions are expected for the coast tonight but the conditions tomorrow night should be perfect for aurora activity to be observed. Dr Bouya suggests somewhere dark to watch the cosmic event.

"To see the aurora, you'll need a very dark and clear night so early morning, after the moon sets, between 3am and 5am, is best over the coming days. Headlands or a dark beach are usually the best viewing spots,"

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