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Did you know that there are both northern and southern lights?

The Active Times logo The Active Times 9/1/2020 Diamond Bridges
a sunset over a body of water: Southern Lights Exist Too, Here’s Where to Find Them © NCHANT/E+ via Getty Images Southern Lights Exist Too, Here’s Where to Find Them

You may have heard of the famous northern lights, one of Earth’s most beautiful natural wonders. This strange phenomenon creates mesmerizing colors across the dark night sky that people travel to see. But did you know that southern lights exist as well?

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The aurora australis occurs in the Southern Hemisphere and is formed by the same natural causes as the northern aurora borealis.


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When solar particles collide with Earth’s atmosphere, which is made up of oxygen and nitrogen, it causes a reaction that emits radiations at various wavelengths, creating the vibrant colors seen in the night sky.

The southern lights can be best seen in places like New Zealand, Tasmania and Antarctica, so you might want to add these places to your travel bucket list. Whether you’re seeking out the northern lights or the southern ones, the closer you are to the Earth’s poles, the more likely you are to experience these gorgeous sights.

The best time to catch a stunning southern light show is during the Southern Hemisphere’s fall and winter months from March to September. If you’re not able to catch it, here are beautiful photos of the northern lights you can stare at no matter the time of day.

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