Interesting Photo of the Day: Panorama of the Southern Lights

You know about the Northern Lights—that is, the Aurora Borealis. Witnessing them in person probably made it onto your bucket list long before you ever took up photography, and now that you’ve got the gear, you probably dream of trekking the arctic in search of them from time to time.

But did you know that the Aurora Borealis has an elusive twin called the Aurora Australis? Landscape photographer Tom Hall captured this breathtaking image of these Southern Lights in Queenstown, New Zealand:

southern lights

“Aurora Australis” captured by Tom Hall (Via Flickr. Click image to see full size.)

As TimeAndDate.com puts it, “Auroras are caused when electrically charged particles from solar winds enter the Earth’s atmosphere and interact with the gases in the atmosphere,” causing the gorgeous color phenomena that we swoon over. The Southern Lights light up the Antarctic Circle’s skies, while the Northern Lights illuminate the Arctic Circle.

To create “Aurora Australis,” Hall shot four composite images at 13mm—one 200-second exposure of the foreground area to the right at 800 ISO, one of the foreground area to the left with the same settings, and two 25-second exposures for the sky at 1600 ISO, one left and right.

Hall then stitched the photographs together in Image Composite Editor (ICE) and edited the final product in Lightroom and Photoshop.

“This was [my] first time seeing the Southern Lights with the naked eye, so [I] was pretty excited,” said Hall via Flickr.

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