November 14, 2004

Wondering when to look up? Ask the web!

Last week, the night sky over North America (and elsewhere) put on a pretty spectacular show of Northern Lights. I was lucky to have them pointed out to me during the second major wave on Nov. 9, but I missed the apparently more impressive Nov. 7 display.


Determined not to miss them again, I scoured the web for information. I was not disappointed. You can't predict the Northern Lights with full certainty, of course, but the following sites will improve your odds.

"Meta" sites (sites that collect, (re-)analyze, display, etc. original data and information)

"Original data" sites (the "heavies"):

So you're armed with more data than you know what to do with. Now what? Well, if you think a sighting is likely, check the weather, head somewhere dark, and look up!'s sky clocks are a pretty handy visual aid for hour-by-hour visibility forecasting.

Finally, if you're like me and you missed the best of the recent Aurora Borealis in and around Ottawa, check out these amazing photos taken by Roy Hooper at Gatineau Park. Incidentally, cameras are apparently more sensitive than our eyes to the aurora, so consider snapping a few photos to see what you get, even with a fairly quiet display of the Northern Lights.

Posted by anatole at November 14, 2004 05:00 PM

Do you know Roy, or did that turn up in a web-search, too? He was a friend of mine back when I was in Ottawa ... we ran a BBS together :)

Posted by: beltzner at November 16, 2004 03:10 AM

Crazy small world. Roy came up in a web search too. :) He has some really nice photographs on his site. Are you still in touch?

Posted by: Anatole at November 16, 2004 11:33 AM

Mike and I don't keep in touch as well as we should.

Posted by: Roy at November 17, 2004 11:26 PM