On this page, you will find a few aurora hunting tools. Each photo display and website will help you determine if the aurora is predicted, and when and where it will be seen.
The oval is where the aurora has been detected. The oval is also called POES (Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite). It is not a future prediction of where it is going.
But if the trend remains the same, we can expect it to swirl around to our side of the earth as the earth rotates.
If the strength remains the same as it is in the picture, then the aurora will be upon us at these estimated times.
The red arrow indicates the noon hour.
An easier to read model would be Ovation.
Ovation is here Ovation shows where the aurora is and the prediction of where is it heading.
The Bz component is the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) and we want it to tilt south into the yellow and the red to see more auroras.
–The speed is how fast the solar winds are.
–The Dynamic Pressure is the speed and density of the solar wind.
This graph is a LIVE picture. What you see is the actual current reading.
Solar Activity Monitor
Normal, Active, or Flares describes how active the sun has been and predicts possible aurora events.
Quiet, Unsettled, or Storm tells you how active the aurora is predicted for that day.
For an additional explanation of the Solar Activity Monitor go to http://www.n3kl.org/sun/status.html
What is the current Kp index? The number can be from 0-9. The higher the number, the larger in size and/or strength the aurora, if all factors are in alignment. The aurora is seen more south in the northern hemisphere, and more north in the southern hemisphere, if the number is greater. The current graph direct from the source is located here NOAA Space Wx Prediction Center or click photo for the live view.
This is the SALMON cam. ***RIP SALMON cam! SALMON cam is offline until further notice.**** It is a free webcam located on top of a hill near Chatanika, Alaska. It shows the aurora often, since it can view it in an unobstructed direction. Sometimes we cannot see the aurora from Fairbanks due to the terrain or light pollution, but you can take a peek at the aurora this way.
Another free cam near Fairbanks is the U-zo cam, ie: Au Live. It’s camera is literally right next to the Salmon Cam, about 1 foot away! They also have a cam on top the building, so check out the website.
AuroraMax is an awesome cam in Yellowknife, NT, Canada. It is pointed straight up in the sky, so on the cam you can see the ground all around the picture.
You can also subscribe to AuroraWebcam.com located on top of Cleary Summit, Alaska. I am a subscriber and I recommend it.
The Geo Phys Institute has a new cam this season AllSky Cam
Where can I go to see the aurora from Fairbanks? The answer for a faint show is anywhere there are few or no streetlights. Big shows, you can see the aurora right from anywhere in town, including the big box store parking lot! Here are a few locations to drive too, far from city lights, but not too far away to drive too:
How to get to Cleary Summit:
Head north out of Fairbanks on the Steese Hwy. Pass the pipeline. When you get to the weigh station (located on the right), and the gas station (located on the left), this is the town of Fox. Turn right, which is still the Steese Hwy. The signs will say you are headed toward Chatanika, Central, and Circle. Go up the mountain. You will know when you get to the summit, as it starts to go downhill, and there is a sign for trucks that indicate downhill. Right before that sign is a parking area to pull into. The street sign reads Fairbanks Creek Rd and Fish Creek Rd.
If you keep going toward Chatanika on the Steese Hwy, there are some areas to pull over to see the aurora, but in the dark and driving on the ice, if you are unfamiliar, the best area is in fact, Cleary Summit. After Cleary, your cell phone will lose its signal. After Chatanika Lodge, there are no services for almost 100 miles.