This is the beginning of a new occasional series which I’ve contemplated before and never got round to. It will be interesting to see how much that’s new this old dog can learn, although great abysses of ignorance leave plenty of scope.

The Northern Lights are a spectacle I don’t expect to see, but as a spin-off of the star-frenzy of the last week, I discovered that the Southern Lights, which I’d never heard of, are equally spectacular. Although Tasmania is the best viewing place, my son informs me that they have also been seen as far north as Wollongong. I’m not ready to whizz off to Tasmania quite yet, or to develop star-photography expertise, so I harvested images from the Internet for my pleasure. The first one was taken by Rob McKenna and the rest by Andrew Klapton.