Auroral activity is peaking with Aucklanders now getting a glimpse

North Islanders, now is your chance to experience a sight normally reserved for South Islanders.

There's an increased amount of auroral activity happening right now, setting the night sky aglow as far north as Auckland. 

"We've had a couple of really amazing auroras in the last couple of weeks all caused from the sun interacting with our magnetic field in the most beautiful ways," Tuuhura Otago Museum director Ian Griffin said. 

Even Aucklanders are enjoying the show. 

"When there's a big auroral storm the aurora moves north in the sky and you can see it normally from the southern part of New Zealand. But if there's a big storm going on you can see it as far north as Auckland, sometimes even further north."

The sun is nearing a period of solar maximum which only happens every 11 years.

It's when the surface of the sun changes and there are more sunspots, which are areas that have an extremely strong magnetic field. The more sunspots there are, the more auroras.

"We're also at a time of year where the equinoxes are aligned, when the sun's magnetic field lines up with the Earth's magnetic field, and that means we get more intense auroras. So we get a double whammy so that's why we're seeing a lot of auroras at the moment," Griffin said.

They look great from Earth but not so good for those working in space. Rocket Lab recently had to delay a launch due to a solar storm.

"One of the effects of a solar storm is it heats up the Earth's atmosphere and if you have a satellite in orbit around the Earth, if it's in low orbit there's more friction and there is a chance it will be deorbited," Griffin said.

Capturing the show is a little less high-tech. Here's Griffin's recommendation on how to do it.

Find a spot well away from city lights with a view to the south. Then set up your camera and if it's a mobile phone, make sure it's looking toward the south and take an exposure of 15 seconds.

Keep that camera handy because more auroras are on the way over the next couple of years.