Aurora Australis continues to put on show in Tasmanian skies

This shot from near Ross, Tasmania, remains the most vivid photographer Benjamin Alldridge has witnessed.
This shot from near Ross, Tasmania, remains the most vivid photographer Benjamin Alldridge has witnessed.

An astronomical phenomena is expected to have skywatchers out and about in Tasmania.

The sun is currently unleashing a barrage of geomagnetic activity towards earth and for solar storm chasers around the state its an exciting time.

Over the last two days the sun has released two major coronal mass ejection's (CMEs) and if the projection to earth is favourable, we could see the strongest showing of the Aurora Australis for quite some time.

CMEs are large expulsions of plasma and magnetic particles from the sun's corona. Travelling at speeds anywhere from 250 to 3000 kilometres per second, they can reach our planet in as little as 15 to 18 hours.

Hobart's Benjamin Alldridge is a renowned storm chaser and travels the state to photograph elements of the night sky and says activity of late is pleasing after a relatively quiet period from our solar giant.

"The sun goes through an 11-year cycle where the magnetic field of the sun flips. Whilst experts can't be 100% sure it is thought that around November 2019 was when the sun was in solar minimum and now, she's starting to wake up," Mr Alldridge said.

After travelling up from Hobart on the weekend, he photographed the Aurora Australis at Pine Lake, in the Central Highlands.

"I ended up getting some decent action that night, then slept for about an hour, before travelling up here to the North-West Coast," he said.

Jacqui Beven, from Hawley Beach, has been a photographer for close to 25 years and remembers vividly the night she became hooked on chasing the Southern Lights.

"I started back in 2015 when I wanted to try and give Astro Photography a go. The first night I went out we had an Aurora showing. I had no idea that it was going to happen, and I didn't follow the readings and website information that we have now to check activity, but from that day I was hooked," she said.

"I usually spend a good few hours out during the winter months with friends and fellow photographers, it's great to be able to share that with like-minded people. We set our cameras up, get comfy under the rug and if we're lucky watch 'Lady Aurora' do her thing."

But sometimes the chase can be hard.

"We've had some nights where all the indicators look good and we travel to a spot prepared and get nothing, but to me that's part of the thrill when something does happen, you just never know," she said.

As far as what else is in store, Mr Alldridge says to stay alert for something in the next few days.

"From all the modelling I'd be thinking that we could potentially see a good show on Thursday or Friday night."