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Aurora Australis forecast 28 Sept to 2nd Oct 2020

Astro Tours

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Looking at the current aurora forecast for this week, sees some potential viewing opportunities. Here is the predicted Kp indices chart

On this chart the times are in UTC. This isn't a time zone, but a time standard. New Zealand is currently 12 hours ahead of UTC, so 0900 on the 28th Sept would be 21:00 local time. 

Please feel free to reply if you have a something to say about the aurora forecast for this week. Or start a new topic if you have a question on another aspect of the aurora and how to understand the charts. We'll be putting up an information post on how to read a forecast shortly.

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What's producing this aurora activity? The current activity seems to be from 2 solar phenomena, which may be why the alerts are coming through stronger than the associated forecast models.

The dark area spreading from the northern hemisphere is a Coronal Hole. This was detected as being Earth facing on Saturday. "A transequatorial coronal hole was detected in an earth-facing position on Saturday, 26 September 2020". This means solar winds are flowing towards us, and they in turn can produce Aurora activity. A large hole has potential to do this over several days.

Behind the CH is a glowing region. This is normally associated with sunspot activity and is an area that could produce solar flares. However, this region must be borderline as a sunspot has not been detected, although the output could combine in this instance with the effects of the coronal hole. Flares tend to be short but powerful bursts that produce short lived aurora.

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55 minutes ago, Hédy van Zyl said:

Very excited about the next few days, if the weather clears. Only just started learning a few years ago and excited to visit the observatory soon as have now moved to Christchurch 

Welcome to the site. If you are still in the learning phase, please take a look at our topic below, which you may find useful


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