The natural world is filled with spectacular events that promise to take our breath away. One of the most sought-after phenomena in this area has to be the mesmerizing visuals offered by the northern and southern lights better known as the auroras. The frequency of this extravaganza has been dwindling over the past few years, but for those who want to experience the spectacle up close, there cannot be a better opportunity than the one offered by an airline in #New Zealand.
Eye of the Arora
History was made on March 23rd, 2017, when a special #Charter Flight carried all its passengers to witness the southern lights in a way that had never been experienced before.
This charter flight was the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere to offer its passengers search a unique service.
The 134 passengers were treated to a round trip journey that started at Dunedin airport in New Zealand and took them all the way to the Antarctic circle. The flight departed on March 23rd at 9:23 P.M, and returned on March 24 at 4:54 A.M, with the total flight time of 7 hours and 31 minutes.
The spectacle in the sky
According to the New Zealand Herald, tickets for this extraordinary journey were sold in pairs. A pair of economy class tickets cost $2,776, while business class tickets cost $5,972. According to the report, the tickets were sold out entirely in only five days.
The person behind this ingenious idea is an astronomer and director of the Otago Museum in Dunedin Ian Griffin. He first had the idea to make this experience available to the masses when he personally glimpsed the southern lights during his journey abode the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), which is basically a Boeing 747 armed with an extremely powerful NASA telescope.
This is what Griffin had to say regarding his experience witnessing the auroras: “(It was) absolutely brilliant. We were right under it. There were beautiful streamers, auroral streamers. With this green-colored stuff that moves quickly, it looks like you're looking into a green, streaky river."
The northern and southern lights are created when photons from the Sun interact with the magnetic field lines at the northern and southern poles of the Earth. The gasses in our atmosphere are also responsible for the light show being caused by the auroras, which is why the lights can be seen in various shades of blue, pink, red, and violet based on where you are. The video attached below shows us exactly how the southern lights appear when witnessed mid-flight.