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WELLINGTON, New Zealand – They took an eight-hour flight just to look out the airplane's window, but it was an extraordinary view.
The charter plane that left Dunedin, New Zealand, late Thursday flew close to the Antarctic Circle to give the eager passengers an up-close look at the Aurora Australis, or Southern Lights.
Otago Museum Director Ian Griffin helped organize the flight so people could see the spectacular rivers of green light in the night sky.
An astronomer, Griffin says he was inspired after seeing the Southern Lights while flying as a guest on a NASA observatory plane.
He says the 134 seats on the chartered Boeing 767 sold out within five days and one man traveled from Spain for the trip. He says he could have filled the plane several times over.