Smails Beach Aurora – Paul Le Comte


Due to light pollution Smails Beach at the start of Otago Peninsula is about as close to Dunedin as you want to get when photographing the night sky, but when the sky is glowing with the dancing lights of a Kp5 Aurora Australis, it’s less important. This night was one of those nights, aided by the New Moon dark sky.

This Aurora was one of the last large events of Solar Cycle 24 ( and eleven year cycle between 2008-2019) & was seen over most of the South Island. Smails is a wonderful beach & with Bird Island just off shore there’s plenty of visual interest even without the Milky Way or an Aurora. This is a 7 image panorama captures not only the dancing lights of the Aurora, but a wide view of the galactic core of the Milky Way that was very low in the night sky, with the lights of Dunedin spilling over Lawyer’s Head. Top left of the image is the satellite galaxy to ours, the Large Magellanic Cloud, some 158,000 light years from us.


Camera Settings

Nikon D750
Nikkor 24-85
f/3.5
ISO 4000
3o seconds

Sale Details

$450 (inc GST)