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Stargazing For those aurora chasers -- a heads up

  1. Aug 27, 2017 #1

    davenn

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    A large coronal hole is about to become geo-effective. Another 24 hrs and it will be face on to earth.
    3-4 days from now Auroral activity can be expected in high latitude locations of the northern and southern hemispheres
    Nthrn Europe, Canada, nthrn USA. Southern Australia ( mainly Tasmania) and southern South Is. of New Zealand

    21106583_114150899287618_3016866392490244366_n.jpg

    Dave

    Yes, it does look like Italy :biggrin:
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 30, 2017 #2

    davenn

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    An update
    An official geomagnetic disturbance warning released
    tho this released by the Bureau of Meteorology in Australia, it is quite applicable for both high latitude regions of nthrn and sthrn hemispheres

    SWS GEOMAGNETIC DISTURBANCE WARNING 17/41
    ISSUED AT 2321UT/29 AUGUST 2017
    BY THE AUSTRALIAN SPACE FORECAST CENTRE.

    Activity is due to recurrent coronal hole. Australia should expect
    Unsettled to Active conditions with possible isolated periods
    of Minor Storming over Hobart.

    INCREASED GEOMAGNETIC ACTIVITY EXPECTED
    DUE TO CORONAL HOLE HIGH SPEED WIND STREAM
    FROM 31 AUGUST 2017 TO 01 SEPTEMBER 2017
    _____________________________________________________________

    GEOMAGNETIC ACTIVITY FORECAST
    31 Aug: Active
    01 Sep: Active

    Space Weather Services WWW: http://www.sws.bom.gov.au
    Bureau of Meteorology


    cheers
    Dave
     
  4. Aug 31, 2017 #3

    davenn

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    Lady Aurora was dancing across the far nthrn and sthrn hemisphere skies last nite
    haven't seen too many photos from the north as yet ... but have seen many from the south

    those of you on facebook may like to check this group out ( not my group, just one I belong to)

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/aur...group_comment_reply&notif_id=1504210996200033


    Solar wind speeds got up to around 650 km/sec at their peak


    Dave
     
  5. Sep 1, 2017 #4

    DrClaude

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    It's rainy in my part of the North, so I didn't see anything.
     
  6. Sep 1, 2017 #5

    davenn

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    dang :frown: .... but you do live in one of the right regions for aurora observing :smile:

    I will continue to post alerts and you hopefully will strike it right one nite

    Dave
     
  7. Sep 7, 2017 #6
    Looks like, due to the Sun's "flare and CME party" these days (today is Thu 7 Sept, 2017), it's aurora time again. It's good to have an aurora update thread, thanks to Dave! :smile:
     
  8. Sep 7, 2017 #7

    davenn

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    @DrClaude
    and anyone else in the far north or far south :smile:

    keep an eye on the northern sky over the next couple of nights
    The CME from an X9.3 flare should be arriving and is predicted to cause major geomagnetic storm conditions


    Dave
     
  9. Sep 7, 2017 #8

    davenn

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    Severe geomagnetic storm conditions are under way with a Kp = 8
    Those in nthrn USA, Canada, Alaska and Europe still in dark hours should be having an outstanding view !!!

    aurora-forecast-northern-hemisphere.jpg
     
  10. Sep 8, 2017 #9
    Some questions from a complete novice; and in a location probably much too far south:

    1) We are at 42° N, roughly middle of New York State. The NOAA animated map at http://www.swpc.noaa.gov seems to suggest that visibility will extend, at best, only to the very top of New York State. This is with Kp = 8, from what I read. E.g. from looking at this page explaining the Kp index, it seems as if Kp = 9 is as high as the index has gone historically; might that be enough to get down to 42° N?

    2) If we got lucky and visibility might extend as far as south as we are for a big event, how good a horizon to the north would we need?

    3) I'm assuming that both light pollution (we are in a rural suburb, a good deal of light pollution to the east of us) and moonlight would be hostile to seeing a faint phenomenon? We have nearly a full moon at present, up all night.

    Thanks -
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2017
  11. Sep 8, 2017 #10

    davenn

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    extending just brings it right overhead
    otherwise under these conditions you would have probably have seen it well above the horizon

    yes they are .... need a reasonably dark site away from all the street lights. At it peak, 4 - 5 hrs ago (post#8)
    it would have been well visible and probably with easy colour

    I have seen some nice aurora pix even with a bright moon


    Dave
     
  12. Sep 8, 2017 #11

    DrClaude

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    I live at the edge of the red region on the map, but the forecast for the next few days is rain :cry:
     
  13. Sep 8, 2017 #12

    davenn

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    that would have put the aurora right overhead .... was it cloudy for you tonite ?

    grrrr,
     
  14. Sep 8, 2017 #13
    Thanks for the info! A page at SpaceWeatherLive.com explains "high" vs. "medium" altitude; the graphic from that page makes it seem like we might squeeze into "medium"; so might get lucky now & then:

    en_1-jpg.jpg

    Beyond that it seems like timing is everything. Is there a single best page or pages for the latest forecast? Presently I get up pretty early in the morning so it would be easy to check; but there are MANY forecast pages and at the moment I find it hard to sort them out.
     
  15. Sep 8, 2017 #14

    DrClaude

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    The rain started yesterday evening...
     
  16. Sep 8, 2017 #15

    davenn

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    here's a list of areas in USA that it was visible ......

    The storm was still going strong as night fell over North America. For a while, Northern Lights spilled across the Canadian border into the USA as far south as Arkansas--in addition to Maine, Connecticut, New York, Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri, Delaware, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, North and South Dakota, and other states. Photographer Chris Cook sends this picture from the Atlantic coast of Massachusetts:



    that is so frustrating :frown:
     
  17. Sep 8, 2017 #16
    Very cool.

    To answer my own question about "best place to look for forecast," I realized after asking it that of course small developers for iPad, iPhone, etc. would have a slew of aurora forecast apps; and indeed this is the case. A couple of them actually seem useful.

    Tonight (night of Sept. 8) it looks like there may be chances again shortly after dark; though perhaps not as strong. The forecast is for "mostly clear" by then.
     
  18. Sep 8, 2017 #17
    Currently, according to SpaceWeatherLive.com:

    "Current data suggest that there is a decent possibility that aurora can be seen now at middle latitudes"
     
  19. Sep 9, 2017 #18
    Raining . . .
     
  20. Sep 9, 2017 #19
  21. Sep 9, 2017 #20
    Thanks, that's a good article.

    So I guess we are now heading towards a solar minimum; thus not very likely we'll see a lot of aurora activity for many years, unless there are surprises? I found an article about trends in flare activity, headlined "The Weakest Solar Cycle in 100 Years": https://www.vencoreweather.com/blog...entury-now-heading-towards-next-solar-minimum

    Also, as part of self-education for sky watching & stargazing on an extremely modest scale, I got an interesting used textbook, published in 1996 by U. of Cambridge, The Ever-Changing Sky, by James Kaler; it was written to be an accessible, relatively non-mathematical text, and is apparently still used today in some college-level astronomy classes. Kaler has this to say about solar cycles & resulting auroras:

    . . . aurorae are generally seen at middle latitudes, where most of us live, only near peak sunspot activity within the 11-year cycle. The cycle itself is highly variable: one maximum can be great, with a huge number of spots and flares, the next may be drab and relatively uninteresting. The reason for the variation is unknown. Intense activity, with wonderful displays, was seen in the late 1940s and especially in the 1959-60 solar peak. For a period of a few months the northern lights could be seen in the populated regions of southern Canada and the northern United States nearly every night. The early 1970 maximum was greatly reduced; however; 1990 was better, and some lovely displays were seen during the 1991-1992 maximum. ​
     
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