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Aurora Viewing

Happened Just Now (2024.3.17)

A CME is heading towards Earth from the direction of the Sun. It is uncertain whether it will directly impact Earth or how much of it will hit, but the effects of this eruption are estimated to influence aurora activity on March 19th and 20th (UT). The timing is perfect for equinox aurora!!

Introduction

To witness the aurora, several conditions must align. Key factors include solar flares, Earth's magnetic field, upper atmospheric conditions, and the phase of the moon. There are several tools available to predict these conditions, and we introduce to you on this page. For those who want to delve deeper into understanding the aurora, NOAA's page on this topic is highly useful, since we don't have space for explain whole mechanism of Aurora, so please refer to it. Additionally, NOAA provides tips for everyone interested in viewing the aurora. The staff at Aurora House relies on information from this source for all aurora-related details, except for weather and moon information.

NEWS: Latest Space Event
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Current "Predictive" Aurora Oval

This provides a short-term forecast for where and how strong the aurora, or northern lights, will be. It relies on the OVATION model and predicts the aurora's location and intensity within a 30 to 90 minute timeframe. The forecast lead time is the duration it takes for solar wind to travel from the L1 observation point to Earth.

The maps illustrate Earth's North and South poles. The aurora, depicted as a green oval around Earth's magnetic pole, brightens and turns red when a more intense display is expected. The sunlit side of Earth is represented by lighter blue oceans and continents. Aurora is typically visible shortly after sunset or just before sunrise, and it's not observable during daylight. Even if not directly overhead, the aurora can be seen up to 1000 km away under bright conditions.

Beyond its visual appeal, the aurora serves as an indicator of current geomagnetic storm conditions, offering awareness for various technologies. It directly affects HF radio communication, GPS/GNSS satellite navigation, and is linked to ground-induced currents impacting electric power transmission.

For many, the aurora is a captivating nighttime spectacle worth traveling to arctic regions to witness. It provides a unique opportunity for individuals to experience space weather firsthand.

The OVATION (Oval Variation, Assessment, Tracking, Intensity, and Online Nowcasting) model by Patrick Newell developed at the Johns Hopkins University.

Solar Wind Data (Live)
Solar Wind Prediction
Moon Phase in Fairbanks
Moon phase of December through January
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Northern Lights above our Aurora House
People viewing Aurora from our deck
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