some questions answered about the aurora this weekend

taking photos Two RiversQuestions answered

****When will the aurora be seen?
Predictions are saying between anytime tonight and Sunday. Be on the lookout when it gets dark. Forecasts are saying that tomorrow during our day in Alaska is when the CME will hit. If this holds true, it means that the bigger show is predicted for Saturday night/Sunday morning. It seems everytime I look at the latest info, it refreshes and changes. This is what we know right now. The best bet is to just be ready tonight (Friday night/Saturday morning). What time tonight? Anytime it is dark. When the ACE satellite indicates the CME hit, that is when we can narrow it down to the bigger show. As it stands now, there should be an aurora tonight in Alaska at the very least. As stated before, this is all forecast and predictions. We try our best to bring you the latest information.

****Where is the aurora predicted to be seen?
If you have clear weather you may see the aurora in…… the entire state of AK including Southeast and Kodiak. Canada. Upper USA which may include ME, VT, PA, OH, NY, MN, WI, MI, ND, MT, ID and possibly the states surrounding.

Tasmania, South Island New Zealand, McMurdo Station Antarctica, South Pole Antarctica

Lapland, Scotland, Iceland, Greenland, Russia

*****How strong is this expected to be?
A Kp 6, 7 or even higher. A Kp 4 would be pretty good for Alaska. Anything higher would be super, and it may be seen in more areas. Fairbanks can see the aurora when it is Kp 0 at times. This is not the only indication of an aurora, but gives us a general idea of the show we might see. We can have a Kp 6 and see nothing. The Bz may be a factor in this case, and may have pointed north.

*****Why all the information? Can’t you just tell me if I am going to see the aurora tonight or not? Isn’t it just random lights in the sky?
Basically, the aurora is produced from events on the sun. Charged particles in the atmosphere create our beautiful aurora. An excellent website to learn more is spaceweather.com. Scientists are still learning how to forecast. It is harder to forecast than the weather.

******Why is the aurora visible on Saturday nights?
The aurora has been seen a lot this season on Saturdays! That is great for those of us who work the typical M-F schedule. But, the aurora has also been seen many weekday nights as well. Not as many people notice this because they are asleep and we don’t get as many likes on status updates on Tuesday mornings at 2:30am.

******Where can I go to see the aurora? I am in Fairbanks. I am in Anchorage. I am in Whitehorse.
Go to where it is dark. This could be your own backyard. Go where there is less light pollution from buildings, streetlights, etc. Know where North is from your location. If you cannot see the aurora overhead, look to your North. Alaskans should look toward magnetic north.

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