Hourly Aurora Forecast
Using real-time solar wind data from Nasa’s ACE spacecraft, matched with data obtained from a network of magnetometers located worldwide, we are able to forecast, with reasonable accuracy, how the Southern Lights will behave up to one hour in advance. The image shows estimated aurora activity now.
Image should be used as a guide only, it is based on predicted geomagnetic activity. Aurora Australis may or may not be visible.
Right now, the aurora is predicted to be: Kp 0.33
In 0 hour and 17 minutes, the aurora is predicted to be kp 1.00
In 0 hour and 32 minutes, the aurora is predicted to be kp 1.00
In 0 hour and 47 minutes, the aurora is predicted to be kp 1.33
System status: All Good.
3 day forecast
Here are the predicted Kp numbers for the next 3 days. They can change at any time due to solar events, so you should check them at least once a day.
Time now in UTC (Universal Time) is:
Jan 20 Jan 21 Jan 22
00-03UT 4 4 3
03-06UT 3 3 3
06-09UT 4 2 2
09-12UT 3 2 2
12-15UT 3 2 3
15-18UT 3 3 3
18-21UT 3 3 2
21-00UT 3 3 3
Why do we use UTC?
UTC (Universal Time) is used in science, weather, aviation, military and many other fields. It eliminates confusion with multiple time zones and daylight saving. For more information on UTC click here
Solar Wind Gauges
These gauges are our own system, they are updated every 60 seconds directly from Nasa’s ACE spacecraft data. The data you see here is what the ACE spacecraft monitored only moments ago. It is the very latest live solar wind data available. These 3 components are the most important components of the solar wind (that we as aurora watchers are interested in). You can view all the components of the solar wind on our other solar wind tool here.
Guages are updated every minute live (without the need for page refresh).
How to interpret the gauge activity
Real time solar wind tool
click to launch
Aurora Ovation Oval
(short term prediction)
NOAA CME Prediction Forecast (*NEW*)
click to launch
NASA CME Prediction Forecast (*NEW*)
click to launch
The ACE spacecraft has been superseded by DSCOVR (data below).
ACE is still operational however, so now we have two sources of solar wind data.
ACE Real Time Solar Wind MAG & SWEPAM data
ACE Real Time Solar Wind EPAM (Low Energy Electrons & Protons) data
Magnetometer located in Hobart, Tasmania
Magnetometer located in Launceston, Tasmania
K index for Hobart, Tasmania
K index for Launceston, Tasmania
Why do we use Hobart data?
When chasing auroras you always want to check the geophysical data for a place slightly further south of where you are. The southern lights start at around 100km high up in the atmosphere, so from a flat point on the earth (a beach, or field for example), you can see this aurora activity even if you are many hundreds of kilometres north of it. Think of it along the lines of standing on a hill you can see much further to the horizon than when stood in a flat field. Imagine standing on a mountain 100km high how far you could see? It also works in the reverse. If there is strong aurora australis activity over the Southern Ocean, many hundreds of km away from Australasian landmass, you can often still see it from the shore. For this reason, we choose to use Hobart’s geophysical data sources as they are the first indications of any strong aurora activity. So even if you are on the south coast of mainland Australia and a magnetometer local to you is registering very little activity, if Hobart’s magnetometer is going crazy, then head out and look to the southern horizon and you might just get lucky! Clear skies and good hunting.
What Kp strength do you need to view aurora where you are?