We moderate Space Weather discussion on Facebook in our group and on our page by following a set of guidelines and rules. We try to prevent false information from being shared, so no one misses the aurora.
We use NOAA Space Weather for forecasts and data. Space Weather Live is also a great website, with the data presented with different graphics than NOAA Space Weather.
Most websites and apps you may use also use NOAA Space Weather.
If you enjoy science and space weather, you will enjoy the websites. There are a few more great websites, but these are the core ones we use for group references.
Many of the website owners and scientists are in ABN group.
Here are a few links:
- NOAA Space Weather Main page https://www.swpc.noaa.gov/
- NOAA Space Weather enthusiasts (all the data you need in one location)
- Official 3 day Forecast
- NOAA Space Weather Facebook page
Keep in mind the dates and times on NOAA Space Weather forecast are in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). If we say on Facebook “tonight” or “tomorrow” we will indicate the time zone, such as Alaska time zone, or UTC.
Kp levels are a measurement of geomagnetic activity over the past 3 hours. The Kp forecast is what the space weather forecasters think will happen from any solar event reaching earth. The times listed on these graphs are never exact, and are NOT aurora watching numbers. They are data fluctuations.
The Kp levels posted in this forecast are planetary indexes. You may on occasion see someone mention the local Kp level. That is fine to use in the group, but overall, we watch and mention the planetary Kp index.
All we need in Fairbanks, Alaska region is Kp 0. Therefore, ignore the low Kp level fluctuations unless there is a large geomagnetic storm coming. Then, you will know that there may be a big event that you cannot miss (worth losing a little sleep over) and you can tell your friends, especially those further south.
Anchorage, Alaska needs Kp 2 or higher. Typically, you will want Kp 4, but aurora can be seen with a lower Kp level when the solar winds are higher and the Bz is nicely negative.
For those in other areas, look at a Kp map to see what minimum Kp level you need. Then, pay attention to the forecast and heads up if a Kp level ONE LEVEL DOWN from what you need is in the forecast! Be ready!
⭐Keep on Topic = Auroras, space weather, night sky.
- Every post must be on topic, about the aurora, space weather, and the night sky. Aurora travel, photography, weather phenomena, astronomy, & the friendship among us are welcome.
⭐Photos & Notifications require DATE and LOCATION.
You MUST include a DATE AND LOCATION (city area and state or province) on aurora sightings and/or photos. No exact location necessary, just general city/town/area. No need to post a street name unless you want to. You may only post your own photos. You may share someone else’s photo using the link or share button to the original post or a website, however, shares from groups may be deleted. No copyright violations will be tolerated. No AI photos are allowed.
- If you do not include date and location, you risk having your photo deleted, comments closed, or an admin commenting to remind you. Please edit your post, rather than commenting.
- Date and location are important because there are people waiting to see if their location was mentioned and when.
- The name of this group is Aurora Borealis Notifications. The “notifications” part of the name means that you will be notified when the aurora is out or was out.
- The one and only exception is if you have a holiday greeting, your photo does not need a date and location. For example, “Merry Christmas to All” overlayed on your pretty aurora photo with Santa pasted over it. No need to mention date and location as it is merely a greeting for the holiday. This is a tradition in this group for all major holidays.
- We give full credit to the photographers in this group. We do not post other people’s photos.
- You are free to post your own photos from your business or hobby page, but you cannot sell them directly using this group without explicit permission and an advertising agreement. This will include posts that include links that give directions on how to purchase, book a stay, come to visit, win a contest, or direct people to like your FB page, instagram or others.
- You do not need to include EXIF data (your camera settings). You do not have to provide them if someone asks. You can decline the request.
⭐Erroneous Info may be Deleted
- Wrong or misleading comments or posts may be deleted without warning so no one gets confused. We strive to ONLY post accurate information. This includes discussing apps, websites, and unvetted groups. Do not be offended if your comment is removed or asked to be edited. Certain keywords or links may be automatically deleted. Contact an admin privately for clarifications or to restore the bot’s mistake. Please keep in mind admins work several HOURS per day moderating.
⭐NO advertising your business or anything for sale without a written agreement.
- You cannot advertise your business unless you have a written advertising agreement with ABN via email. You cannot suggest, advertise, or tag a business or website that is not approved. Please email ABN@AuroraNotify.com for detailed info.
- Inappropriate comments may be deleted by the admin team with no warning or explanation. If you are causing heavy moderation, then you may be suspended, or, removed from the group completely. If you like to troll, this group is not for you.
⭐Other — to prevent spam
- To join the group, please answer all 3 questions and check the box after reading the rules. No locked profiles allowed at this time. Blocking an admin gets you blocked from the group. Spammers and scammers are swiftly blocked.
Added details about the rules:
We like things to run smooth, we do not want to work harder than we have too, which is why the rules are important.
Some people cause more issues than most, and sometimes post approval will be turned on. This is mostly used when a person does not post according to the rules, or the norm. Example would be someone that posts wrong forecast information often. Another example would be they never add the date or location.
A suspension will be issued when comments have to be controlled. Until “comment approval” is a feature, a suspension has to be issued. This used to be called “mute”. A suspension is issued to stop a person from harassing another group member, to stop them from posting spam or unauthorized sales, or to stop them from adding wrong information such as the space weather forecast or suggesting the aurora can’t be seen because of location, weather, or time of year. A suspension can last 1 day to 28 days. Typically the longer the suspension, the member may not feel the group is for them and leave. People may ask an admin for clarification and ask to have it removed. Most of the time a suspension is issued because a member did not know the rules.
Most of the time a suspension is not needed, and the moderators will simply delete the wrong information with no warning. Do not be offended by this at all! Sometimes we just need to clean up confusing information so no one misses the aurora. An example would be “Can I see the aurora in Fairbanks in August?” and the answer is YES but some are saying no. The “no” may be kept because it can be explained (aurora is seen in August when it is dark for brief times until the dark night comes back), but “no, come in October, that’s when the aurora starts” will be deleted because that answer is completely wrong.
Comments will be closed on a post if:
- date or location is not listed
- moderators need time to read the comments
- a question has been answered and too many responses of the same answer are given
- a question has been answered but is lost in all the extra comments
- a question has been answered but wrong information is being included in the comments
- no one is answering the question accurately, are confused, or the post needs clarification and the Poster has not edited or participating
Respecting others notes:
Most of the time, the admins are thinking, “Really???”. Stop harassing people and get the aurora information. If you don’t like someone’s personality or style in their posts, you can keep scrolling. Sometimes a snide remark might mean they want you to clarify your question or comment. If it happens every now and then, ok, but when a person is constantly sarcastic, rude, or mean in the group, then the group is not for them and they can leave or be removed. Those causing the admins heavy work will be suspended or removed from the group completely.
Staying on topic is important. The name of the group is Aurora Borealis Notifications. The word notifications was included because that is what it is….being notified the aurora IS or WAS out by using words and photos. Share your sighting so everyone can see the lights! Share your experience and joy. A few years ago, I had to remove 2 members of the group because they insisted on talking about a gym in Anchorage. Of course the comments were “what does this have to do with aurora?”. The person got angry with everyone and called us aurora snobs. Then another person said that if we can’t talk about whatever they wanted they will leave. So I waved goodbye and used the “remove member” button that admins have. You would not believe how many times this has happened over the years! Usually they understand and then get back on topic.
Straying on topic happens. Aurora chasing and reporting can turn into many subjects such as
- driving on the ice
- all-season vs snow tires
- where to stay, where to avoid
- light pollution
- business reviews non aurora related
- food, snacks, coffee, hot cocoa
- weather, clouds, smoke from wildfires
- travel, expenses, airlines, boats, trains
- tour guides or do it yourself info
- astrophotography, nature photography, daytime photography
- cameras and lenses and all the attachments
Thank you for reading the in-depth Group Rules the admins and moderators are guided by.