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The closer you are to the arctic circle or the antarctic circle, the more likely you are to see the southern/northern lights on any given night.
They can extend further away from the poles following a solar flare.
Perhaps the most famous one historically was [the solar storm of 1859](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_storm_of_1859).
> Aurorae were seen around the world, even over the Caribbean; those over the Rocky Mountains were so bright that their glow awoke gold miners, who began preparing breakfast because they thought it was morning. People who happened to be awake in the northeastern US could read a newspaper by the aurora’s light.
If you’re ever travelling very north or very south, you might use [SpaceWeather.com](http://spaceweather.com/) to keep an eye on the visibility of the lights. Notice the ‘auroral oval’ New Zealand monitor shows that the Southern Lights are visible there now 🙂