AURORA and SOLAR SECTION
ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY of NEW ZEALAND
REPORTS OF AURORA AUSTRALIS SEEN DURING
2000 AUGUST

All dates and times UTC

Aug 3 14:15 Green glow south.
                (S46.4 E169.8) - Otekura, South Otago, New Zealand

Aug 6 14:45 to 15:00 Faint glow SSE to SSW to 10 elev in S. Confirmed with spectroscope.
                (S45.8 E169.3) - Edievale, West Otago, New Zealand

Aug 7 08:00 to 09:00 White glow to elev 10.
                (S45.1 E171.0) - Oamaru, North Otago, New Zealand

Aug 9 13:50 Deep pink, green and white rays to 70 elev. The white rays higher than the rest. Rays moving slowly.
                (S46.4 E169.8) - Otekura, South Otago, New Zealand

Aug 10 17:15 White band S to SW seen in cloud gaps. Quite high up.
                (S46.4 E169.8) - Otekura, South Otago, New Zealand

Aug 11 09:15 to 09:30 Green-white glow. Quite spectacular at first but quickly faded and had disappeared at end of the hour.
                (S46.9 E168.1) - Half Moon Bay, Stewart Is, New Zealand

Aug 12 07:07 Initially thought another light shower of rain was coming, in the moonlit sky. Instead realised it was an aurora with active rays in S, and reddish colours in both E and W all later culminating in a corona 9 to the lower left of Antares (at 66 elev and az 007). A semicircular 'kink' in the auroral front was also observed centred on Spica (in W at 35 elev) with a radius of 6. The faint reddish glow contrasted well against the brilliant moonglow (the Moon then az 064, elev 50). Also saw a reddish glow in the northern sky.
                (S46.1 E168.9) - Gore, Southland, New Zealand
            07:30 Despite gibbous moon spotted glow and watched it grow in size.
                (S45.1 E171.0) - Oamaru, North Otago, New Zealand
                Aurora seen and photos taken.
                (S45.6 E167.6) - Manapouri, New Zealand
            07:45 to 08:15 Noticed a 'cloud' rising in the sky with 'straight' sides. It turned pink and then bright red. Then noticed sky in S looking as though someone had set fire to it. There was a large dome of red to the right, a green glow across the sky from E to W and up to about 40, and above that curtains of red and green and through all that many rays shooting up from the ground. Over to the left there were dark blobs of clouds scudding across. For about hour the group of us was treated to one of the most awesome aurora displays I have ever seen; including some aurora videos! Started to die down at 08:30 but a glow continued to the S.
                (S43.5 E172.3) - West Melton, Canterbury, New Zealand
            07:50 to 08:05 Red glow in N to NW.
                (S40.8 E175.7) - S of Eketahuna, Wairarapa, New Zealand
                Half the sky glowing red from near due S to near due N of the zenith.
                (S41.1 E176.1) - Riversdale Beach, New Zealand
            07:53 Noticed a red glow or patch in SW to 30 elev. Sky above hills to S showed palest green.
            07:58 Pale white glow E of S.
                (S41.3 E173.3) - Stoke, Nelson, New Zealand
            08:00 Saw several shafts of light.
                (S46.5 E168.4) - Invercargill, New Zealand(1)
                Red glow in W to 45 elev. Bright yellow glow below in SE. Display extends to W. Hint of rays.
                (S45.8 E169.3) - Edievale, West Otago, New Zealand
                Very bright aurora in spite of Moon. Bright horizontal diffuse arc (faint yellow/green) with bright white well-defined vertical columns in S; sometimes up to zenith, and large red patch in SW. Faded at 08:15.
                (S43.4 E172.0) - Waddington, Canterbury, New Zealand
                Glow above skyline now brighter, then the aurora quickly intensified. Red glows from SE around to SW and then reds showed among the glows up to 40.
                (S41.3 E173.3) - Stoke, Nelson, New Zealand
                Red coloured rayed band SSE to SW up to 20 elev.
                (S40.5 E175.5) - Tokomaru, Manawatu, New Zealand
                Red glow with a few white rays.
                (Photo at http://www.chrispicking.homestead.com/aurora2.html)
                (S41.0 E175.7) - Kaituna, Masterton, New Zealand
            08:05 to 08:10 Saw a bright crimson roughly rectangular patch 10 wide from elev 30 in WSW to at least 80 elev WSW. Beautiful backdrop to Crux and the Pointers.
                (S46.4 E168.3) - Otatara, Invercargill, New Zealand
            08:05 to 08:20 Brilliant red glow concentrated in SE but extending with less intensity all the way past Crux. This was the brightest aurora I've ever seen. Clearly visible red behind the scattered clouds and easily seen well to the SW. Two or three rays were pale whitish-red to right of Achernar.
                (S43.5 E172.6) - Christchurch, New Zealand(2)
            08:07 Saw what was like very soft, misty strobe lighting coming down from very high in night sky. Rays were at first well defined and just 2 or 3 and white in colour. They then gathered more, changed in colour from white to blue then to pink. The rays later tended to merge into each other more. The aurora appeared pinker on the outside.
                (S43.8 E171.4) - Mayfield, mid-Canterbury, New Zealand
            08:10 Saw a bright aurora stretching some 40 above southern horizon appearing at least 70 wide. Later the activity had increased. Rays were stretching some 60 above the horizon with a strong green colouration in the main part of the aurora and with red patches in the upper part. Motion easily visible in the aurora.
                (S43.6 E172.1) - Dunsandle, Canterbury, New Zealand
                Glow white-green at base and intensifying rapidly to an orange/pink/red glow higher up. The rays and a pinkish glow spread until they covered the sky from E to W, but the brightest area was still the original one in S. IBC 2.
                (S42.3 E171.1) - Greymouth, New Zealand
            08:15 Crimson patch still there but now very faint. Storm clouds prevented further observation.
                (S46.4 E168.3) - Otatara, Invercargill, New Zealand
                Extensive loose cloud but spectroscope confirms display widespread SE to W to almost overhead; pinkish. Faint rays extend high up.
                (S45.8 E169.3) - Edievale, West Otago, New Zealand
                Display much fainter; only glows.
            08:19 Glow above skyline brightest W of S.
            08:25 Glow above skyline quite faint.
                (S41.3 E173.3) - Stoke, Nelson, New Zealand
            08:30 Sky still clearing. Glow from E through S to W. Rays along most of the display now. Brightest in SW.
                (S45.8 E169.3) - Edievale, West Otago, New Zealand
                Glow above skyline W of S now brighter.
                (S41.3 E173.3) - Stoke, Nelson, New Zealand
                Observed some rays after this time.
                (S45.1 E171.0) - Oamaru, North Otago, New Zealand
            08:36 Glow above skyline W of S brighter again.
                (S41.3 E173.3) - Stoke, Nelson, New Zealand
            08:40 Another front moving in. Display visible in places.
                (S45.8 E169.3) - Edievale, West Otago, New Zealand
            08:42 Glow above skyline W of S brighter again.
                (S41.3 E173.3) - Stoke, Nelson, New Zealand
            08:45 Virtually gone except for pale whitish-glow all across S horizon.
                (S43.5 E172.6) - Christchurch, New Zealand(2)
            08:54 Glow above skyline fairly bright.
            08:56 Glow above skyline now fainter.
                (S41.3 E173.3) - Stoke, Nelson, New Zealand
            09:00 Aurora visible for 10 minutes around this time.
                (Photo at http://users.bigpond.net.au/gazzar)
                (S44.0 E171.3) - Fairlie, Canterbury, New Zealand
            09:04 Glow above skyline not so bright W of S and faint to S and SE.
            09:30 Monitored S in between observing variable stars but the glow remained faint.
                (S41.3 E173.3) - Stoke, Nelson, New Zealand
                Great excitement again. We had a few rays shooting up every now and again and then suddenly there was more colour again and more active rays. One in particular just suddenly appeared off to the west, more than a hand-span in width, that reached all the way up to the gibbous moon and when you blocked out the moon with your hand you could see it come down the other side into the east. This display lasted only 10 minutes.
                (S43.5 E172.3) - West Melton, Canterbury, New Zealand
            09:50 Sky now clear. Southern sky looked bright but took it to be moonglow. (It wasn't.)
                (S46.4 E168.3) - Otatara, Invercargill, New Zealand
            10:00 Noticed a strong yellow/white glow along the S horizon. At 10:19 saw a great mag -3 alpha Capricornid fireball that ran through the SCP. It was golden orange with a blood red spine. There were two outbursts and fragments broke off all the way along the 30 journey.
                (S40.3 E175.4) - Glen Oroua, Manawatu, New Zealand
            10:05 The 'moonglow' developed into a glow from horizon to elev 20. Above this a roughly 10 dark strip of sky and then at maximum elev 30 an arc 2 wide az 120 to 270. Above this a second arc also 2 wide to maximum elev 50.
            10:10 The lower arc developed rays reaching to the second arc. At first less than wide these rays gradually merged with each other to form diffuse beams 1 or more wide still reaching to second arc. Suspected a third arc even higher but at 40 elev in E it was washed out by the Moon. If it did indeed continue higher into the sky it would have been north of the zenith.
            10:15 Arcs less distinct now in the moonlight.
                (S46.4 E168.3) - Otatara, Invercargill, New Zealand
            10:20 While driving back to Christchurch a strong glow was still visible to the south far brighter than the Milky Way in a rather large patch near the horizon. This was visible from the outskirts of Christchurch till nearly 11:00.
                (S43.5 E172.6) - Christchurch, New Zealand(3)
            10:30 White rays sprung up due S. As the rays grew they changed to salmon pink. More ray bundles appeared in the SSW under Crux. At the same time more rays appeared around Canopus. These rays climbed up to 20 and the upper 10 were red. The rays were lasting for about 20 seconds. Some rays reached up to 40 elev. There were a couple of angled red rays on the SE and SW edges of the display reminiscent of more defined zodiacal light.
                (S40.3 E175.4) - Glen Oroua, Manawatu, New Zealand
            10:30 to 11:00 Glow and ray bundles moving sideways. White, greenish-yellow, pink and red colours. The pink/red glow also took on an orange/red appearance. The display was pulsating.
                (S42.3 E171.1) - Greymouth, New Zealand
            10:30 to 12:30 Green rayed arc. Red glow in E. The rays were moving sideways rapidly and the display pulsating.
                (S41.2 E146.4) - Devonport, Tasmania, Australia
            10:40 Ray bundle to 70 seen through streetlights and porchlights!
                (S46.5 E168.4) - Invercargill, New Zealand(2)
            10:40 to 10:45 Distinct light green auroral glow in arc above S horizon az 150 to 210 to elev 5. Rays, radial with respect to arc, to elev 25 between az 160 and 200. Slowly undulating. Rays the colour of deep red port-wine, white and light green.
            10:45 Display slowly faded and then from 10:50 faded rapidly with the rays gone by 10:55. However the auroral glow persisted in the form of an arc in the S until after 12:00.
                (S42.6 E171.0) - Hokitika, New Zealand
                On way home to Christchurch saw two very strong rays appearing above prison security lights. Later saw three distinct rays of pure red rising up from above the horizon despite LP sodium-vapour street lights. Back in Christchurch could still see display despite extensive light pollution.
                (S43.5 E172.6) - Christchurch, New Zealand(1)
            10:48 Weaker red glow again in same regions and two rays to right of Achernar.
            10:52 Bright red activity with 5 rays. Rays extended above Achernar; left one clearly red, others whitish-red. Yellow-green pale glow below.
            11:00 - 12:45 Completely gone via sodium vapour street light glow of Christchurch.
                (S43.5 E172.6) - Christchurch, New Zealand(2)
            14:45 to 15:00 Spectroscope shows no auroral line.
                (S45.8 E169.3) - Edievale, West Otago, New Zealand

Aug 17 approx 09:00 Red glow through light cloud E through S to SW and up to zenith. Approx 10:00 large green and large white patches in S. Approx 13:00 still very bright and pink.
                (S46.4 E169.8) - Otekura, South Otago, New Zealand

Aug 18 approx 11:00 Bright white glow in S.
            13:00 Similar.
                (S46.4 E169.8) - Otekura, South Otago, New Zealand

Aug 21 08:30 Reasonable glow on SE to S horizon.
            08:58 A few good green rays shot up to approx 30.
            09:00 A few good green rays shot up to approx 30.
                (S46 E170) - Otago-Southland flying at 4000 ft.
            10:00 to 10:20 Glow az 140 to 200, elev 10. Perhaps greenish tinge.
                (S46.4 E168.3) - Otatara, Invercargill, New Zealand
            11:20 In S pink, white and green rays to 70 elev.
                (S46.4 E169.8) - Otekura, South Otago, New Zealand