July 1912: Adelie Land Aurora “We had come to probe its mysteries. . .’

–from Douglas Mawson’s account “The Home of the Blizzard”–

“At times the light was nimble, flinging itself about in rich waves, warmking to dazzling yellow-green and rose.  These were the night when “curtains” hung festooned in the heavens, alive, rippling, dancing to the lilt of lightning music.  Up from the horizon they would mount, forming a vortex overhead, soundless within the silence of the ether.

“A ‘brilliant display,’ we would say, and the observer would be kept busy following the track of the evanescent rays.

“Powerless, one was in the spell of an all-enfolding wonder.  The vast solitary snow-and, cold-white under the sparkling star-gems; lustrous in the rays of the southern lights; furrowed beneath the sweep of the wind.  We had come to probe its mystery, we had hoped to reduce it to terms of science, but there was always the ‘indefinable’ which held aloof, yet riveted our souls.”

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