I am not lucky enough to live in a location in the world where aurora occur regularly, but occasionally if the solar storm is big enough they can reach my area. I thought I would share some of the links that I use to determine whether or not I go aurora chasing.
The first thing I look at if I hear of an incoming solar storm are weather/cloud forecasts and what the current moon phase is. A bright moon will wash out all but the brightest aurora.
A good site to hear about incoming solar activity (and other space news) is:
For Australians there is a great Facebook group which focuses on Aurora Australis. You can be assured that if it going to happen or it is happening you will hear all about there:
Two sites I use a lot for cloud predictions are:
If the moon phase is good and I have looked to see if I will even be able to find clear skies, I then start looking a bit deeper into the strength of the aurora activity to see if it is a chance of making it as high as my latitude (-35 degrees). Some of the sites I look at are:
http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/pmap/pmapS.html Southern Hemisphere aurora oval prediction. Bigger and more red the better.
http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/lists/ace/ace_mag_1m.txt The more negative the Bz reading is the better.
http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/rt_plots/kp_3d.html Ideally a Kp Index of 5 or greater.
http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/wsa-enlil/ Solar wind prediction site. Find out if any Coronal Mass Ejections from the sun are due to arrive. Predictions are plus or minus about ten hours and are never guaranteed.
There are also various aurora alert services that you can sign up to but I wont list them here. It can depend on what mobile device you have as to what service is available to you.
What happens if it all comes together………..
Pinks and reds is what I can mainly expect from my location. It would take an exceptionally large solar event for me to get those wonderful greens dancing overhead.
Happy aurora chasing.
Very good info on where to find, and how to read the data to get the most out of an Aurora visit. Thanks a lot!
really cool pics
really awsome and nice pink purple and other coulars!