Aurora Chasing

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As I stayed up late last night waiting for a piece of the Sun's vomit to impact Earth's magnetosphere and release photons into my eyes, I realized that it probably wasn't going to happen. So I went to bed.

For future expeditions of this sort, here's what various experts say is the best way to find out when your eyes will see the glory of the shining of the sun-barf:

  1. Check to see if your location falls inside the red line on these maps:

NASA Ovation-North latest forecast NASA Ovation-South latest forecast

These images come from the Ovation Auroral Forecast page at NOAA. That site shows the probability of auroral activity and where that activity can be seen from.

Another useful resource is the NOAA Space Weather Enthusiasts Dashboard, which shows a different real-time auroral map and solar wind monitoring data.

I didn't see any aurorae, but with this knowledge, I'm better prepared to find them in the future.


Updated 2017-05-16:

  • Replaced old Ovation link (http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/products/30-minute-aurora-forecast) with new link (http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/products/aurora-30-minute-forecast)
  • Replaced old Space Weather Enthusiasts Dashboard link (http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SWN/index.html) with new link (http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/content/space-weather-enthusiasts-dashboard)

Updated 2015-01-18:

NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center updated their site, breaking a lot of links and creating a new forecast product.