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Viewing the Northern Lights in Nov/Dec

  1. Aug 12, 2013 #1
    There will be some heavy sunspot activity when the solar poles flip... should be some good aurora's...but how far south will they be viewable?

    Regards,

    Jack Martinelli
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 12, 2013 #2

    davenn

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    Hi there Jack,

    there may be ... but this solar max is much lower that the last 3 or 4 maximums
    and the spot counts are low in comparison. I would predict that spot levels are not going to be too much different than they have been over recent months. There ISNT likely to be a huge burst in spot numbers just because of the solar magnetic pole flip
    Lots of sunspots don't always mean lots of aurora ... ok ... more spots the better chance some of them may produce good flares that result in aurora. But, keep in mind that, the majority of aurora are caused by CME's Coronal Mass Ejections that are not always related to a particular sunspot group. some CME's are flare induced, many are not.

    there's been a good number of aurorae even over the last several months.
    large aurorae in the past have often been seen from low to mid latitudes, ~ 35North or South depending on what hemisphere you live in.
    Where I used to live, at 46S ( SE South Island of New Zealand), I would see the majority of auroral displays, but it also helped that the south magnetic pole was closer to me than in say southern South America or southern Africa.
    I'm now in Sydney, Australia area ~ 32S and aurora are almost never seen

    Dave
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2013
  4. Aug 12, 2013 #3

    davenn

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    Just an additional thought....

    after years of aurora observing and photography, I have often found that March and October are among the best months for aurora displays ( the equinox periods)

    Dave
     
  5. Aug 13, 2013 #4

    davenn

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    Further to the previous comments....

    Coronal Holes are also a significant source of streams of charged particles that can produce geomagnetic storms and aurora displays

    Speaking of which, I have received an email alert today, 14th August, for active to minor storm conditions due to a coronal hole

    cheers
    Dave
     
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