It is easy to understand what air or sea pollution is, but how can light pollute at all? Here is the answer.

It is easy to understand what air or sea pollution is, but how can light pollute at all? Here is the answer. 1

When you look out your window at night, can you see the stars? Or are the heavens just a murky haze?

If you’re not seeing stars, you’re not alone. A new report says that 80 percent of the world lives under light-polluted skies — and the Milky Way is hidden from more than a third of humanity. Blame it on the artificial lights that shine at night.

60 percent of the world’s population can not see the Milky Way when they look at the sky at night. However, New Zealand was estimated to have low levels of light pollution. Based on land area, 74 percent of the North Island and 93 percent of the South Island had night skies that were either pristine or degraded only near the horizon.

So who gets those pristine, ink-black sky conditions? You can, of course, find a great night sky in any country — as long as you’re far from city lights.

The World’s Most Remarkable Light Show

New Zealand is known for many natural wonders, and Aurora Australis (The Southern Lights) has to be one of the most wonderful of all.

Aurora Australis may be lesser known than Aurora Borealis (The Northern Lights), but it is just as impressive! Only a few of us have had the privilege to see the electric phenomenon because we struggle to get far enough south. That’s with the exception of Australia, Chile, Argentina, New Zealand and Antarctica. So if you have chosen New Zealand as your travel destination, then here’s yet another reason you have made the right decision! In New Zealand, you can see the aurora activity as a green and pink hue over the horizon and even dancing green veils lighting up the sky. To increase your chances of seeing the Southern Lights on your travels, you need a combination of the best time, the best weather conditions, and being in the right place.

The Best Times and Months to See Aurora Australis

Although auroras happen all year round, the best time to see them in New Zealand is during the winter months (March to September). The widest part of the aurora is when the sun is on the opposite side of the Earth to where you are, so around midnight is best. 

There’s a Facebook group in New Zealand of helpful people who not only share images, but suggest good times and places to get your very own pic!

What Forecasts to Look Out For

You can check various websites for the Aurora Australis forecast. Aurora strength is measured on the Kp-index, which ranges between 0, being the weakest, to 9, being the strongest. Anything classed as Kp 5 or above is considered a geomagnetic storm. This is part of a solar cycle that creates higher solar wind activity, however, it is said that it only occurs every 11 years, and the last one was 2013… so we can’t get excited about that just yet. 

Become a Southern Lights Trail Host

Be sure to register as a host with the mobile phone app, on your android or apple device, based on the Southern Lights trail. The featured image is in Tekapo, New Zealand.

It is easy to understand what air or sea pollution is, but how can light pollute at all? Here is the answer. 2 It is easy to understand what air or sea pollution is, but how can light pollute at all? Here is the answer. 3