30% chance of ‘severe’ Aurora Australis / Aurora Borealis in next 48 hours

September 25, 2011 | By | 4 Comments
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According to Spaceweather.com there is 30% chance of a ‘severe’ Aurora Australis / Aurora Borealis occurring in the next 48 hours. For Southern Australian observers, the most likely time that we will see one is Monday night (26 September 2011) according to the Australian IPS Radio and Space Services website.

This gorgeous view of the aurora (above) was taken from the International Space Station as it crossed over the southern Indian Ocean on September 17, 2011. The sped-up movie spans the time period from 12:22 to 12:45 PM ET (USA Time zone). Image and text courtesy NASA. http://www.nasa.gov/topics/shuttle_station/features/20110917-aurora.html

To have the best chance of seeing an aurora (in Australia), you will need to live either in Tasmania or the Southern part of mainland Australia. Aurora experts recommend looking around local midnight. That said, I saw an aurora from Canberra during the last solar maximum at around 8 pm AEST. You will need to be in a location with very little light pollution to have a chance of seeing the aurora as they are not bright. If one occurs, you will see faint reddish or greenish clouds moving slowly above the Southern horizon. A useful fact sheet about aurora can be downloaded here from the Space Environment Center website. You might also want to look at this amazing video of the International Space Station passing above an aurora.

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