Prediction Value

Aurora Australis Nowcast Level 

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Low Geomagnetic Activity

Aurora only visible with a good camera (Long Exposure & high ISO).

Visible for good cameras.
Not visible by eye.
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Moderate Geomagnetic Activity

Aurora might be visible with the naked eye. Clearly visible with a camera (Long Exposure & moderate ISO).

Visible for cameras.
Might be visible by eye.

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High Geomagnetic Activity

High chance for aurora to be visible with the naked eye. Clearly visible with a camera.

Strongly visible for cameras.
Visible by eye.

Where to go to look for aurora?

You need a clear view to the south. The best places to do that are dark beaches on the east cost of the southern part of South Island. In Dunedin you can for example go to: Second Beach, St Clair, Sandfly Bay or Hoopers Inlet.

When should you go aurora hunting?

Make sure the weather is clear. The fewer clouds the better, so make sure you can see the stars before you go. Aurora often appears only low on the horizon, so make sure there are no clouds blocking your view.

What to expect.

Do not have high expectations! The southern lights are not easy to see from southern New Zealand. The chances are low to see one in the first place and even lower to see one that is strong enough to be visible by eye. If you are out there and hunting for aurora do no forget to enjoy the stunning night sky! Also, bring enough warm clothing and be prepared to wait in the dark for a couple of hours...

How it works.

The program estimates geomagnetic activity from the maximum disturbance of the X component (horizontal, N-S) of Earth's magnetic field. It creates alerts when it exceeds some threshold, where the disturbance = | quiet day curve - measured value |. The plots and the most recent maximum hourly value are recalculated every 10 minutes. Alerts are issued as soon as a threshold is reached which means it is possible several alerts of different levels are issued in a one hour period. Link to the archive.

Follow @AuroraAlertNZ on twitter to get real time alerts

only strong alerts all alerts

Southern New Zealand Aurora Nowcasting

About this Website

This is a free service offering alerts of when the aurora might be visible from southern New Zealand, especially Dunedin. It is run by scientists in the Space Physics group at the University of Otago at the Department of Physics.

Acknowledgments

Observations are provided by Intermagnet, GNS Science, and the Otago University Space Physics Group. This website and the aurora nowcasting code was created by Moritz Wolf.

Disclaimer

We run this Aurora Warning/Alert System with the best intention to improve the experience for aurora hunters in southern New Zealand. However we do not guarantee that the warning is 100% accurate and might not be available 24/7.

University Of Otago