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Southern lights over South Pole

Hunter Davis sent these photos from Antarctica this morning of the aurora australis – or southern lights – now appearing over Earth’s South Pole.

First glimpse of the aurora australis after sunset at the South Pole this year. April 11, 2017 photo by Hunter Davis at the South Pole.

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The sun has recently set at the South Pole, and the long dark winter there has started. As a result, the sky is now dark enough to see the aurora australis, or southern lights. Hunter Davis, who is working at the South Pole, sent these images this morning and wrote:

Full moon rising today! And first glimpse of the aurora australis after sunset.

The southern lights aren’t seen as often as the northern lights (aurora borealis), but that’s only because the southern part of Earth’s globe is less populated than the north. They’re the same phenomenon as the northern lights, occuring when electrically charged electrons and protons from our sun interact with Earth’s magnetic field. Read more: What causes the aurora borealis?

Thanks, Hunter!

April 11, 2017 photo by Hunter Davis at the South Pole.

Bottom line: Photos of the aurora australis, or southern lights, and April 2017’s full moon, as seen from the South Pole.

Deborah Byrd

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