19 Ethereal Photos of the Southern Lights That Bring Heaven a Little Closer to Earth

Photo: Getty Images/Xavier-Hoenner
For any enthusiastic astrotourist, heading north to see the aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, is priority number one. But the other side of Earth witnesses its own celestial spectacle. You'll have to venture far below the equator to be awestruck by the Southern Lights, a dazzling light show worthy of pursuit.

The aurora australis, a luminous phenomenon caused by disturbances in Earth's magnetosphere, paints the night skies above Chile, Argentina, Tasmania, New Zealand, and Antartica each year from March through September. At a scientific level, both the northern and southern lights are the result of electrically charged solar particles coming into contact with gases in the atmosphere like oxygen and nitrogen. But to the naked eye the multi-chromatic display is pure magic.

If your sense of adventure leads to you visit the southern hemisphere for a glimpse of the event in person, head for Queenstown, New Zealand; Mount Wellington, Tasmania; Victoria, Australia; or Antartica, and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

Photographs of aurora australis, or the Southern Lights

Once you've checked these beauties off your bucket list, you can see California's super bloom or take up temporary residence in one of these treehouses

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