The 130 people onboard the maiden "Flight of the Lights" in New Zealand were left awestruck at the spectacular show of Aurora Australis, or the Southern Lights, on Thursday night (23 March).
The sold-out charter flight to the Antarctic Circle took off from Dunedin Airport at about 9pm local time and flew as far south as the 66th parallel chasing the green hues over the skies, before returning early on Friday morning.
Ian Griffin, Director of the Otago Museum who organised the flight trip, posted videos and pictures of the Southern Lights on social media sites. He said that it was a "trip I'll remember not only for the amazing photos and lovely views, but also for the many amazing people I met during the project".
Griffin, an astronomer, said that he was inspired to launch this flight trip after seeing the Southern Lights while flying as a guest on a NASA observatory plane, the Associated Press reported.
Griffin also said that people were only allotted the window seats to get an up-close view of the spectacle. One woman flied from Spain to be a part of the journey, he added.
The seven-hour flight on board Boeing 767 was reportedly meant to take advantage of the equinox aurora effect, when there are 12 hours each of daylight and darkness. On its journey to the Antarctic Circle, the flight crossed the international dateline twice.
Tickets for this inaugural flight were priced at around $4,000 (£3,206) for economy class and $8,000 for business class, which were sold out in just five days, according to a report by Fairfax Digital media's Stuff.co.nz.
In a twitter post, Griffin termed the first attempt a success and hoped more sky gazers would join the adventure in 2018.