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South West stunned as biggest Aurora Australis solar storm in decades lights up the sky for stargazers

Craig DuncanHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Biggest solar storm in decades lit up the skies in the South West.
Camera IconBiggest solar storm in decades lit up the skies in the South West. Credit: Craig Duncan

Stargazers across the South West were stunned at the weekend as the night sky was lit up by the reds, pinks, and purples of the Aurora Australis.

The announcement of a “severe geomagnetic storm watch” from the National Weather Service’s Space Weather Prediction Centre had onlookers across the country out in droves to catch a glimpse of the southern lights.

With this being the biggest solar storm in two decades, stargazers were dazzled by a light show that was visible even to the naked eye.

The always popular Island Point Reserve was packed to the brim, with hopeful aurora hunters as a crowd of close to 200 gathered on the southern banks to watch the light show.

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Some onlookers travelled from as far as Joondalup to witness the astronomical event.

For Kelly Remedios, the lightshow was an early Mother’s Day gift.

Ms Remedios said she has missed the previous aurora events , as every time the alerts have come through, she was either pregnant or had just given birth.

“Tonight, my partner decided for Mother’s Day that he and my grandparents will look after the kiddos, so I can be here,” she said.

“I have been able to see some beams, which made me super happy.

“It is cool to see it through the camera.”

Esher Kimberley drove from Port Kennedy to see the light show.

She had never seen it as vibrant as it was on Saturday, making it the first time she was able to see it with the naked eye.

“I cried,” Ms Kimberley said.

“This is something I really wanted to be a part of and I’m so glad I got to see it.”

It was Sam Gill’s first time aurora hunting, which he said was an amazing experience.

Paul Want said he has been able to check an item off his bucket list.

“You forget how stunning the night sky is,” he said.

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