THE BEST PLACES TO SEE THE SOUTHERN LIGHTS

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A unique and overwhelming natural show: the Aurora Borealis it’s a phenomenon caused by the terrestrial magnetic field that results in lights and colours dancing in the sky. If it takes place in the southern hemisphere, it’s called Aurora Australis or Southern Lights, less known than the northern ones but spectacular as well.

The Southern Lights, also known as Aurora Australis, are lesser known than their Northern counterpart due to their more elusive nature. Compared to the Northern hemisphere, in fact, there aren’t many places to catch a glimpse of the lights south of the Equatorial line.

The best time of the year to have a Southern Lights tour is from March to September, and here are the best places to admire them.

Falkland Islands

The best places to see the Southern Lights - Falkland Islands (Ph. by Michael Greenhill)

The best places to see the Southern Lights – Falkland Islands (Ph. by Michael Greenhill)

This archipelago in the southern Atlantic Ocean is a UK territory and it has been sporting an advanced Southern Lights monitoring system since 2010. The station is located in Goose Green, a remote yet fascinating hamlet. Here Earth’s magnetic field is strangely low, and this phenomenon has generated the nickname of South Atlantic Anomaly. Scientists are still studying how this situation may be influencing the manifestation of the Aurora Australis.

South Georgia

The best places to see the Southern Lights - South Georgia

The best places to see the Southern Lights – South Georgia

An island that sits completely covered in ice almost all year long. And yet, around March, it can be reached on a cruise. South Georgia as the best chances to catch the Southern Lights, but don’t forget that the meteorological conditions here can turn to the extreme in a blink of an eye. Plan your trip carefully!

Ushuaia

The best places to see the Southern Lights - Ushuaia, Argentina

The best places to see the Southern Lights – Ushuaia, Argentina

The capital of the Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, it’s the southernmost city on the planet. That’s why it’s recalled as one of the best places to see the Southern Light. And yet, there’s a downside to the story: the city is famous for its frequent rains, with the sky covered with clouds for the most part of the day. Still, the night here lasts for 17 hours, which gives hope for some extraordinary sights of the dancing lights.

Stewart Island

The best places to see the Southern Lights - Stewart Island, New Zealand

The best places to see the Southern Lights – Stewart Island, New Zealand

This island in New Zealand gives the chance to admire the Southern Lights the Rakiura National Park, a vast natural oasis whose name in Maori gets translated into the land of the brilliant sky. The park is worth a visit also for its outstanding sceneries, with the landscape so wild to be compared to a primaeval land.

Antarctica

The best places to see the Southern Lights - Halley VI Research Station (Ph. by Thomas Welsh)

The best places to see the Southern Lights – Halley VI Research Station (Ph. by Thomas Welsh)

A destination reserved only for the bravest, with the temperatures dropping as low as -50 degrees Celsius. Nevertheless, it’s the best place in the world to see the Aurora Australis, that here manifests itself in all its glory. Numerous scientific stations have been built here to observe this majestic phenomenon. Two examples: the Black Island Satellite Station, perfect for the sight of the Milky Way, and the Halley VI Research Station, a moving station that can host up to 70 people and that can be transported to different areas to avoid falling into the ice cracks.

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