Spectacular views as aurora lights up skies

The northern lights over Norway early Thursday morning (local time).
The northern lights over Norway early Thursday morning (local time). Photo credit: Instagram / foto.sjo

A spectacular aurora show lit up skies across the world on Friday night - but New Zealand stargazers were left in the dark.

Particles from a solar storm a week ago only just reached Earth, creating an array of coloured lights as they hit the atmosphere.

For much of the northern hemisphere, waves of green, pink and yellow rays mesmerised night owls.

Tasmania and other parts of southern Australia were also lucky enough capture a few shots of the natural event.

South Islanders were also teed up to catch a glimpse, but cloud cover and the short summer nights left viewers with only a dull green glow on the horizon.

Amateur astronomer Paul Stewart posted a time-lapse of the view from Timaru.

"The consolation prize for waiting a couple of hours last night for an aurora that didn't," he said alongside the 20-second clip on Twitter.

Otago museum director Ian Griffin also had a late night in anticipation of a better display.

"Last night I chased the aurora all the way from Portobello to Strath Taieri," he tweeted.

"Clouds & aurora physics frustrated my efforts, but by golly human kindness & the colours of the stars made it all worthwhile."

If you spotted the aurora, send your pictures to digital@newshub.co.nz.

Newshub.