Aurora Australis Tourists See Lights of Their Life
The first commercial flight to view the Aurora Australis landed in Dunedin, with 130 star-struck passengers sharing the experience on social media. TVNZ reporter Mark Hathaway, who was onboard the Air New Zealand flight, said passengers spent roughly four hours of the flight time viewing the aurora.
“A lot of people were like kids at Christmas,” Hathaway said.
The eight-hour charter flight flew to a latitude of 62 degrees south, where organisers said passengers were guaranteed a view of the aurora.
“Our lives are forever altered by this incredible experience and we are eternally grateful to have been a part of this remarkable event”, said passenger Roz Charlton on Facebook, as others shared their pictures under the hashtag #flighttothelights.
“We’ve travelled two-thirds of the way to the south pole, seen an incredible display of the southern lights, got lovely pictures and were home in time for breakfast,” organiser, Dr Ian Griffin, told TVNZ.
The flight tickets were priced at $4000 for economy and $8000 for business class aboard the Boeing 767.
Rafael, a Spanish tourist from Mallorca, said he saw the flight advertised online and decided he needed to go “on this adventure”.
Given the flight’s popularity, organisers say they are planning a second one next year.
Aurora Australis and its northern counterpart Aurora Borealis occur when the Earth’s magnetic field interacts with electrically charged particles emitted by the sun.
Original article by Naaman Zhou, The Guardian, March 24, 2017.
Photo by YouTube/Stephen V.