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1648 posts

Uber Geek


# 196585 5-Jun-2016 16:26
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Hi all, do any of you have experience in this field?  I  have been doing my research and they talk about KP Index of a 5 value or higher.  I am using an Android handset, do you know any apps I can download?  I have seen many northern aurora ones though.  Are the values the same whether I am in Wellington or Wanaka - in otherwords the numbers are not dependent on location like sunsetwx.com (for sunset and sunrise). 

 

 

 

I know have this webpage.

 

http://www.aurora-service.net/aurora-forecast/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks.


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9052 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1566102 5-Jun-2016 16:45
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This image from NOAA Space Weather Prediction Centre gives a forecast:

 

 

 

 

Links for:

 

Above image

 

NOAA SWPC

 

Spaceweather.com

 

K index from SWPC:

 

 

There's a "moderate" watch at the moment for G2 class storm (from a solar wind stream from an Earth facing coronal hole).  I doubt that if it does eventuate, aurora would be visible in NZ except perhaps in the deep South.

 

Explanation of relationship between Kp index and Aurora here.




1648 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1566103 5-Jun-2016 16:47
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Thanks.  How do you practically do this?  Do you just keep a eye out and when it is good you go out but what times do you go out?  One probably wouldn't go out 3am on a Tuesday evening right with work the next day. 


 
 
 
 


652 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 1566107 5-Jun-2016 17:05
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Because I work nights, I quite often go Aurora looking after work, but only when weather is clear and really only when the KP is 6+.

 

I haven't personally seen anything looking south of Bluff (as far south as you can get) under 6. Quite often if there's a 6 or higher I can watch from the Oreti river bridge or Beach at Invercargill. A 6 usually shows up as faint white lines following the magnetic fields of the earth.

 

Anything better than a 6 though I usually go and check it out.

 

If the weather permits, the best time is usually just after sunset or before sunrise. Otherwise it's pot luck sometimes in the middle of the night.


9052 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1566108 5-Jun-2016 17:06
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rayonline:

 

Thanks.  How do you practically do this?  Do you just keep a eye out and when it is good you go out but what times do you go out?  One probably wouldn't go out 3am on a Tuesday evening right with work the next day. 

 

 

 

 

All theory - no experience here - I've never been lucky enough or been in the right place at the right time to photograph the aurora.

 

I suggest to keep an eye on spaceweather (or SWPC) for alerts on strong solar flares and position of coronal holes.  Prediction of impact of solar flares can be literally hit and miss, smaller M and C class flares can have a larger impact than X class.  If the flares are significant, then NOAA estimate likelihood of impact.  The sun is very quiet, no sunspots visible on the surface at all, we've just had the weakest solar maximum in a decade.  But that's not to say there won't be flares or aurora displays as we head to solar minimum.

 

Of course with digital cameras, people are taking photos with very long exposures showing faint auroras which are probably not very visible to the eye. 


1923 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1566206 5-Jun-2016 22:27
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Ray thanks for the link in your first post.
As you would have seen its unlikely you'll see an Aurora from places in the North Island.

South of the SI is more likely, though you really need to be clear of light glow from towns.
Displays vary greatly, in speed, colours, intensity, but all are memorable.

As a side note, NZ used to monitor/record Aurora at what is now the NIWA station in Lauder (Central Otago), but I don't see that listed as doing this monitoring any more.

9052 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1566271 6-Jun-2016 08:28
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Fred99:

 

 

 

  we've just had the weakest solar maximum in a decade.  

 

 

Century (not decade) of course.


9052 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1566839 7-Jun-2016 08:36
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The Kp index hit 6 - and there was Aurora visible from Dunedin:

 

http://spaceweathergallery.com/indiv_upload.php?upload_id=126306

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  # 1566843 7-Jun-2016 08:55
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Check out the photos Ian Griffin takes from Dunedin. Many are truly amazing.

 

 




1648 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1566847 7-Jun-2016 09:03
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I will check them out later .. :) Cheers. 

 

Yes I have been following the FB's pages and those forecasting pages.  Yesterday evening was forecasted KP Index of >6.00.  I went to Owhiro Bay the same area where Mark Gee did his public workshop, saw 2 groups of photographers there, had a chat to one and they said Aurora hardly happens in Wellington, I stayed 30mins by that time they both left.  No color, just stars and galaxies. 

 

 

 

Edit.  Yes, I have seen the aurora shots in the south island taken last night, the same time when I was out in Wellington. 


309 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 1566907 7-Jun-2016 10:08
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Just curious, do you usually see any of the colour with the naked eye? Sorry if that's a silly question :P


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  # 1566929 7-Jun-2016 10:33
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sbiddle:

 

Check out the photos Ian Griffin takes from Dunedin. Many are truly amazing.

 

 

 

 

Ian Griffin, who is also Director of Otago Museum, is enthusiastic about aurora watching and taking photographs at Hooper's Inlet on Otago Peninsular. I can't wait to try it one day.

 

Jesse Mulligan interviewed him on National radio two weeks ago. I don't usually listen to that sort of radio show so I was amazed by how much I enjoyed it.

 

 


9052 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1566973 7-Jun-2016 11:21
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It was Ian Griffen who uploaded the photo to Spaceweather.com I linked to above.  Here it is:

 


247 posts

Master Geek


  # 1587560 7-Jul-2016 11:48
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The further north you are, the Higher the KP needs to be to see anything decent. I live in Dunedin and won't get out of bed unless it's an 5KP or higher, it needs to be 6-7 to be anything spectacular. In saying that, the KP is just an indication, and an high KP doesn't necessarily mean your going to get an amazing show. The Aurora App I use is called Aurora Alert (android)

 

 

 

The higher up you are, and the further from light pollution the better your results will be. Also in terms of settings, although you will need to use longer shutter speeds, you want to try and keep the shutter speed relatively short and try and capture the shape/beams of the aurora.

 

 

 

Here's a couple from down my way:

 

 

 

 

 






231 posts

Master Geek


  # 1599028 26-Jul-2016 13:45
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Generally..

 

more south = betterer.

 

Invercargil gets a show on a 4+, dunedin 5+, Christchurch 6+, welly 7+, auckland 8-9

 

They are mostly caused by CME's (coronal mass ejections) from sunspots (tho not always) , which are easy to spot (happening) but it takes 1-2 days ish for the CME to get to earth (if its aimed our direction).

 

You have a window of hours to days of when it hits, if it hits.

 

 

 

Sometimes its much smaller than predicted. Sometimes its over in a flash and you miss it. Sometimes it never turns up.

 

Sometimes a couple of weak fronts turn up at the same time and give an unexpected display.

 

 

 

And you can almost guarantee a full moon and/or low cloud cover lol...


247 posts

Master Geek


  # 1599035 26-Jul-2016 14:07
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RobDickinson:

 

Generally..

 

more south = betterer.

 

Invercargil gets a show on a 4+, dunedin 5+, Christchurch 6+, welly 7+, auckland 8-9

 

They are mostly caused by CME's (coronal mass ejections) from sunspots (tho not always) , which are easy to spot (happening) but it takes 1-2 days ish for the CME to get to earth (if its aimed our direction).

 

You have a window of hours to days of when it hits, if it hits.

 

 

 

Sometimes its much smaller than predicted. Sometimes its over in a flash and you miss it. Sometimes it never turns up.

 

Sometimes a couple of weak fronts turn up at the same time and give an unexpected display.

 

 

 

And you can almost guarantee a full moon and/or low cloud cover lol...

 

 

 

 

Did you catch last night's display? Good example of it coming out of nowhere and disappearing just as fast.






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