Aurora

Photographs

Below are a collection of tools I use when looking for an aurora.

Aurora Forecast

  • Dunedin Aurora Alert - The most useful resource. Run by the Otago University Physics Department and uses data from magnetometers in Dunedin and Macquarie Islands. Has a very low false positive rate. On your mobile device you can bookmark the direct value for a quick refresh. They have a couple of Twitter feeds for all or only strong readings.
  • Space Weather Live - Right hand navigation bar lists an overall aurora status as well details KP index, solar wind speed, and direction of the planetary magnetic field.
  • Aurora Service - 3 day KP forecast.

Weather

  • MetService - National weather forecaster.
    • MetService Twitter - On nights where geomagnetic storms have been predicted MetService will often tweet localised short term cloud forecasts for the lower half of the South Island.
  • Himawari Cloud Imaging - Satellite images taken every 10 minutes showing cloud cover across New Zealand.
  • Yr.no Forecast Hour by hour cloud and rain forecast.

Locations

From the St Kilda boulevard you will be able to take a photograph directly south. Despite the light pollution from the city you should be able to see the cloud cover on the southern horizon and some colour from the aurora. Based on this there are several places to go.

Close to Dunedin some accessible spots are:

However these tend to be popular and have some light pollution from the city. I usually head to south facing spots:

  • Otago Peninsula
  • South of Brighton
  • Middlemarch