09 January 2014

Aurora Borealis alert for tonight and tomorrow

The viewing area for the northern aurora will stretch to lower latitudes tonight and tomorrow because of recent solar activity:
On Tuesday, the first solar flare of the year erupted from the sun. This huge flare blew out from a sunspot seven times the size of the Earth. Since Tuesday, super-charged solar particles have been hurtling toward Earth.

When these particles crash into the Earth’s magnetic field this can create a larger than normal aurora around the North Pole. And if the particles are strong enough those Northern Lights can be seen further south in the United States.
I was delighted when reading about this to discover that there is a website for monitoring aurora activity.   That's where I took the screencap above (showing aurora probabilities right now, with half the U.S. still in daylight; the image updates and refreshes every 30 seconds).

Of note to Kiwis and others in the southern hemisphere, the website also has a comparable probability map for the Aurora Australis.

Update:  New map for Friday morning -

The intensity is greater and area of coverage greater.  Might be interesting tonight.


  1. Too bad I'm cloaked in clouds and rain (1.4in rain yesterday). I've never actually seen the aurora and I'd love love love to photograph it!

  2. Was sorely disappointed last night when I wanted to show my kids the Northern Lights... and it was cloudy. Found another "tracker" site though, and this one might be a bit easier to understand: http://www.softservenews.com/Aurora.htm (and it includes links to the NOAA site above)


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