Tired yet? More auroras coming tonight

Tonight’s forecast is unsettled to active, G1 storm conditions. In fact, the next 3 nights are forecast great for a show in Alaska and much of Canada. The northern US may see displays very low on the horizon. The Kp level is expected to be 4 and of this post at 520pm Alaska time the Kp level is 3.

It gets dark after 9pm in North Pole, and auroras are possible at that time. They can start and stop at any time of the night and continue til the sun rises. No one knows a time, not any person, nor any app. All we can do is give a best guess. Typically, the best shows arrive well after midnight. You cannot see the aurora if you are asleep. This may be the obvious, but many people simply give up too soon.

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More lights predicted tonight!!!

Alaska, get ready for another show tonight. The current Kp level as of this post is 5. The NOAA Space Weather forecast calls for minor storm activity. Those in the northern states, Canada, and Alaska may see active displays. New Zealand and Australia as well. Amazing, exhausting, and well worth it to head on out. Some clouds in the Fairbanks area, cloudy in the Anchorage area.

The aurora season is running out of time in Alaska. In 1 short month, the sun will be too bright to see auroras from Fairbanks, less than 2 months for Anchorage. Get out there now and enjoy the night sky! Last night the stars were stunning!!!

Last night the lights were amazing for those who waited patiently for them to come out.

burst in the sky

burst in the sky

Kp 3 at 330am, Alaska has great lights, but weaker than anticipated

20150318_planetary-k-index The Kp index was high!

Super lights still going on in Alaska at 330am. Several sporadic shows were seen since the sun went down. Activity still looks great, but not the show we anticipated. That’s ok, at least other parts of the USA and Canada saw the show after a great display in Europe. I read that even Germany saw the lights! Amazing!

I really hope you saw the lights. The forecast looks great again for northern Europe as their sun goes down and again for Alaska tonight.

Photos from tonight, taken around North Pole, Moose Creek, Salcha, and the Harding Lake area, Alaska. It was not cold at all, and it was nice to get out under a moonless night.

Lights out in Alaska now

Fairbanks areas, Delta, and Anchorage all reporting lights. Kp 5. It’s still very early! Lights expected into the night. Lights come and go. Be patient.

Most of Canada has lights. AB and MB reported excellent lights, faded as of this post.

States reporting were MI, MN, WI, IA, MO, ME, MA, NY, PA, IN, IA, ND, MT.

Auroras imminent tonight! Alaska, Canada, northern US states

G4 Storm!Auroras imminent tonight. It’s a bold statement considering the way the aurora forecasts go. The data right now is insanely wonderful for a show tonight in Alaska, Canada, and many northern states. Also, New Zealand, southern Australia, Antarctica. If you are in a big city or in an area where the weather is poor, it is worth it to drive out somewhere to see the lights.

The Kp level all day has been fluctuating around Kp 8 all day (Europe’s night). Last night in Alaska the Kp level was 6. The Kp level as of this post at 450pm Alaska time is Kp 7. AS SOON AS IT IS DARK in your area, HEADS UP for auroras!

UPDATED: NOAA downgraded the storm from G4 to G2, which is still pretty good for auroras.

You can report the aurora in your area by commenting on the facebook page or texting your message to 907-385-7385. Twitter @AuroraNotify

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How to view the aurora:
If you cannot see it overhead, look north. Always know which way is north. Look low, close to the ground, if you cannot see it high in the sky.

If you cannot see any stars, or your photos are all washed out when trying to capture the stars, you might be in a big city with too much light pollution. Head out to a darker area that has a view toward the north. Some areas may see auroras even with light pollution.

Map your route at home. While driving, dim your dash lights, refrain from looking at your phone (dim your screen), try not to use interior lights. Keep your eyes adjusted to the night.
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aurora streaks through the skyThis photo was taken with my cheap point and shoot camera.

To take pictures of the aurora, you do not need a fancy expensive camera. You only need a camera with manual settings. Asking how to take a picture during an aurora show is not the time to learn your camera. The newest smartphones can capture the aurora, but not as great as some photos you may see online.

—- Start off by putting your camera in manual mode. ISO 800, shutter speed between 10-15″, auto white balance, focus to infinity (a setting on point and shoots or a dial on your lens). Practice your focus on a star. Use a tripod. Can’t help you any more if you don’t use a tripod! 2 second delay. These are the basic settings. You can change it up from there. Go ahead and try it out when it gets darker. Take a photo of a distant light such as a car driving by or a far away streetlight.

—–There are many websites with advanced guidance on shooting the northern lights. Here are several links: Camera Settings on ABN

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