While most of us were fast asleep early on Tuesday morning Ian Williams was braving -2 degrees to capture the stunning red glow of the Aurora Australis.
Mr Williams was up at 3am awaiting a glimpse of the light show above Mount Tennent, after tracking its estimated arrival via the Aurora Service website.
He braved two hours of sub-zero temperatures outside Tuggeranong before the glow emerged.
"It started off as a nice pinkish-red glow under the southern cross, over Mount Tennent," he said.
"Over the next 10 to 15 minutes it built up and you could see beams heading straight up towards the clouds. It shimmered, like curtains being ruffled."
The phenomenon is sparked by electrically-charged electrons and protons accelerating down the Earth's magnetic field lines and colliding with neutral atoms in the upper atmosphere, about 100km above the Earth, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.
The collisions cause the neutral atoms to fluoresce including the more common aurora colours red and green.
Mr Williams, who has been interested in astronomy since he was a child, said he was photographing stars before the Aurora Australis appeared after 5am.
"When the pinkish-red glow appeared I zoomed in on one of [the photographs] and realised I'd captured the start of the aurora," he said.
Mr Williams said he was surprised by the visibility of the Aurora Australis from the ACT. Southern Victoria and Tasmania are usually the best vantage points.
"It's quite unusual for it to extend this far north," he said.
"I didn't expect it to take off as much as it did. It was a stunning display. It was easily visible to the naked eye.
"I've seen them in Alaska and Tasmania. This is the first time in Canberra ; it's nice to see it from my hometown."