Hourly STD DMSP/POLAR Auroral Activity Report

(Auto-updated every 10 minutes)
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Ground-based sightings of auroral activity are provided on the following map and are valid at the times given at the top-right of the plot below. All stations reporting activity during the last 72 hours are plotted as white dots.

  Image of Auroral Sightings

Click on the image itself to view the actual sightings reported by individuals around the world.

Near Realtime VIS Image
The image above is the most recent VIS image of the northern polar auroral oval, taken by the POLAR spacecraft.

Near Realtime Ultra-Violet Image
The image above is the most recent ultraviolet image of the northern polar auroral oval, taken by the POLAR spacecraft. Lines of latitude and longitude are denoted by the dashed blue lines. Contintental outlines are also shown in green.

Near Realtime NOAA/TIROS Derived Aurora
The image above is the most recent estimated shape and character of the northern polar auroral oval, as derived from recent measurements of energy deposition into the auroral oval by the NOAA/TIROS spacecraft and as statistically derived and provided courtesy of the Space Environment Center. The color bar at the right denotes the estimated power flux input into the auroral zone, in ergs*cm^-2*sec^-1. The yellow arrow points in the direction of the noon sector, where sunlight would prevent observations of auroral activity.

Near Realtime NOAA/TIROS Derived Aurora
The image above is the most recent estimated shape and character of the southern polar auroral oval, as derived from recent measurements of energy deposition into the auroral oval by the NOAA/TIROS spacecraft and as statistically derived and provided courtesy of the Space Environment Center. The color bar at the right denotes the estimated power flux input into the auroral zone, in ergs*cm^-2*sec^-1. The yellow arrow points in the direction of the noon sector, where sunlight would prevent observations of auroral activity.

Where is the Aurora Visible?
This plot estimates the VISIBILITY of auroral activity from any location in the northern hemisphere, assuming a dark moonless sky and low light pollution. It is updated every 5 minutes with the latest solar wind data. The model computes the estimated brightness of auroral activity and plots this on the map as a solid bright color that varies from green (NIL to low levels of auroral activity) to brown/orange (low to moderate levels of activity) to red (moderate to high levels of activity). The brighter the red, the more intense the activity. Those areas which may be able to spot activity are most often within the zone of fading color on the outskirts of the plotted auroral oval. The extent of the fading color zone on the outskirts of the oval is based on the estimated height and intensity of auroral luminosity.

Use this chart to quickly determine whether auroral activity might be visible from your location and what intensity the activity might be. The image is created using a model that computes the potential auroral luminosity from current solar wind conditions. It has been verified for accuracy using historic POLAR spacecraft data. Although the model works very well and should provide visual observers with a good estimate of the visibility of auroral activity, it is not perfect and may occasionally under or overestimate the visibility of activity from some regions. This is due to the unpredictable nature of auroral substorm activity.

 

 


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