Aurora chasers

Aurora Borealis (photo: Chad Blakley,

The Aurora Australis and Aurora Borealis make for spectacular images, like the ones above and below. It is not surprising that some keen photographers are on the lookout for the perfect viewing opportunity.

Aurora Borealis seen from Alaska (photo: SrA Joshua Strang, USAF)

The aurorae become more visible during geomagnetic storms, so that the planetary Kp index of geomagnetic activity is a rough guide to visibility (with location-based visibility thresholds shown in NOAA maps for Australia & NZ, Eurasia, and North America). Aurora forecasts based on Kp and other space weather factors are available for Australia & NZ, Europe, and North America.

Finally, let me mention two handbooks for Aurora chasers – one new (aimed at the South) and one from 1992 (aimed at the North):

The Aurora Chaser's Handbook, by Margaret Sonnemann (2013)            The Aurora Watcher's Handbook, by Neil Davis (1992)