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Aurora Observatory

 

Auroral Oval - the closer you are to it, the better your chances of seeing an aurora. During a strong aurora, the oval expands and moves southward.

Satellite images of the auroral oval: these images are either taken by special cameras aboard satellites or produced from data measurements taken by satellites.

Auroral oval in UV light

VIS data
Ultraviolet Earth Camera image from VIS
aboard NASA's POLAR spacecraft.
click here to go to the VIS site

courtesy L. A. Frank and J. B. Sigwarth
The University of Iowa and
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center.

Auroral oval

POES data
extrapolated from measurements taken by the
NOAA POES satellite. The color scales ranges from
red (high) to blue (low).
click here to go to the NOAA POES site
courtesy of Space Environment Center of NOAA

Auroral oval in UV light

UVI data
Ultraviolet image from UVI camera aboard NASA's
POLAR spacecraft
click here to go to the UVI site
courtesy of G. Parks, SSL, Berkeley


Planetary K- Index: the higher the number, the stronger the aurora

 

The Kp-Index is a number between 0-9 indicating the maximum level of geomagnetic disturbance over a three-hour period. Solar activity
causes this disturbance in Earth's magnetic field and is recorded by
instruments called magnetometers.
For more detailed info click here

How to use this info:

City
Mag
Latitude
Kp
Fairbanks

64
1
Toronto

53.9
6
Seattle

52.7
7
Chicago

52.2
7
New York City

50
8
Copenhagen

51.9
8
San Francisco

42
9+
London

47.5
9+
Tokyo
29
9+

KP index graph
click image for the
latest Kp Index.
click to go to NOAA SEC site

Kp>4

Kp=4

Kp<4

geomagnetic storm meter
current geomagnetic storm level
click to see Silver Space
Sciences Lab page

courtesy Janet Luhmann and Yan Li
University of California at Berkeley,
Silver Space Sciences Lab

 

 

 

 



Solar activity - look for sunspots and coronal holes near the Sun's equator
thumbnail of Active Region monitor
Click image to go to
Big Bear Observatory's
active region monitor!
click to go to BBSO site
sunspot data
sunspots
magnetogram data
magnetogram
Click here to see the latest images of the sun's disc and corona from SOHO.
click to go to SOHO home page
picture of EIT images

Some things you'll see at SOHO

What is EIT? EIT stands for Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope. EIT uses four different wavelengths of light to view various solar
features such as active regions and coronal holes.

 

What is LASCO? LASCO was designed to observe the corona, or the outermost layer of the sun's atmosphere. Normally, the brightness of the sun makes the corona difficult to see so LASCO covers the sun's disc creating an artificial eclipse. The white circle indicates the size of the sun. LASCO can take dramatic images of coronal activity such as
explosions and mass ejections.


thumbnail of LASCO

Closer to home - clear, dark nights are the best for aurora viewing
Phases of the Moon - bright moonlight can make it difficult to see the aurora,
check lunar phases with this applet from the CBC4Kids site.




click here to go to CBC4Kids site

Local Weather - the aurora occurs high above any weather phenomenon.
Make sure skies are clear for good viewing

Consult the experts: links to aurora prediction and space weather sites


Geophysical Institute daily aurora forecast

NOAA's Space Weather Page

Space Weather Now page

SpaceWeather.Com


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Geophysical Institute
903 Koyukuk Drive, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska 99775-7320
site last modified: August 2003 maintained by Asahi Aurora Web Manager