Cloudy? Too Far South? How to See the Aurora No Matter Where you Live

by Nancy Atkinson on January 24, 2012

Screenshot from the Aurora Skystation webcam in Abisko, Sweden at 10:15 UTC on January 24, 2012.

With the recent solar activity producing blasts of subatomic particles from the Sun to Earth’s magnetic field, the social media outlets are buzzing with those who are seeing auroral activity in their region. But what if it’s cloudy where you are, or you don’t live in a latitude conducive to seeing aurorae? The internet and webcams to the rescue! As I write this, the Aurora Sky Station webcam is broadcasting stunning views of the aurora in Sweden, like the screenshot above. But there are more webcams dedicated to capturing and sharing the aurora experience.

There’s AuroraMAX, from Yellowknife, Canada, which we’ve featured before on Universe Today. AuroraMAX is an online observatory which began streaming Canada’s northern lights live over the Internet in 2010.

In addition to nightly broadcasts of the aurora, AuroraMAX offers tips for seeing and photographing auroras, and includes an image gallery with still photos and movies from previous nights.

The Nature of Jokkmokk website from Lapland offers several different views of the night sky.

Virtual Tromsø offers an all-sky camera from Tromsø, Norway (and as I write this, the sky is covered with green auroral activity!)

The Aurora Live website is from the Poker Flat Research Range, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

All these webcams are active only when it is dark in their respective locations.

Check out NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center, which has maps for both the northern and southern hemispheres which shows regions of potential auroral activity.

If your skies are clear and you’re in a good location, read our guide on how best to view the aurora.

Enjoy the views!

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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