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Spectacular Aurora captured in Antarctica

15 June 2007

Conservators working in Antarctica got a spectacular light show when perfect atmospheric conditions revealed an amazing Aurora.

An Aurora is an electro-static phenomenon that results in colourful lights in the sky best seen at night. In Antarctica and the Southern Hemisphere it is called the Aurora Australis. The one seen in the Northern Hemisphere is called the Aurora Borealis.

Luckily, a time-lapse film-maker was visiting the area and was able to capture some great footage of the Aurora.

The light show was a welcome break for a team of workers who are busy conserving artefacts from Ernest Shackleton’s hut, left over from his attempt to reach the South Pole in 1908.

They are working through the Antarctic winter, facing 24-hour darkness and temperatures of -40°C and you can read about their work in regular updates to the Natural History Museum’s Antarctic conservation blog.

The team blog about their conservation work such as how they conserve a Heinz jar of Indian relish, to how they survive the hostile living conditions and the disappearing sun. Find out about the polar plunge, a ritual carried out four times a year where they jump into freezing Antarctic waters for fun.

The team is part of Ross Sea Preservation Project led by the Antarctic Heritage Trust. They are staying at Scott Base near to Shackleton's hut at Royds Bay on Ross Island.

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