Spectacular views of Southern Lights on world's first aurora flight

A view from the inaugural aurora

IAN GRIFFIN TWITTER A view from the inaugural aurora"flight to the lights

The flight departed from Dunedin in New Zealand last night, heading south in search of nature's most impressive light show.

The trip was the first chartered flight from Dunedin to see the Southern Lights, according to the New Zealand Herald.

Otago Museum Director and Astronomer, Ian Griffin said, he was inspired after seeing the Southern Lights while flying as a guest on a NASA observatory plane.

Just five days after the thrilling journey was opened for booking, it was sold out and had travelers coming from far-flung destinations like Spain to experience the trip.

A time-lapse video also shows the close-up view of the phenomenon.

The plane then travelled over the ocean to ensure passengers would get clear views of the aurora, with The Guardian reporting it flew to a latitude of 62 degrees south.

"Nobody has ever really done that before", Griffin told BBC.

He further added the charter flight were only selling window seats and seats immediately adjacent, leaving the middle of the aircraft empty for the breath taking view for the passengers. "This green-colored stuff that moves quickly, it looks like you're looking into a green, streaky river".

"Our lives are forever altered by this incredible experience and we are eternally grateful to have been a part of this remarkable event", passenger Roz Charlton posted on Facebook.

Aurora Australis and its northern counterpart Aurora Borealis occur when the Earth's magnetic field interacts with electrically charged particles emitted by the sun.

While the flight sold out, the plane was not completely full as all the passengers had to have window seats to view the lightshow. Because the Boeing 767 is being decommissioned and the trip proved so popular, he said he may seek a larger jet. They are visible in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres and even on other planets like Jupiter's atmosphere.

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