Where Can You See the Northern (or Southern) Lights?

Beautiful and magical, the both the Aurora Borealis (Northern) and the Aurora Australis

File:Aurore australe - Aurora australis.jpg

Aurora australis image by Samuel Blanc.

Where can you see the lights of the aurora?  How can you plan to take an image?

The first place you would want to star is here, at Space Weather.  You can see how the local weather caused by the Sun is going to affect the Earth’s atmosphere and when it is going to send enough charged particles at us to light up the day and night.

I live pretty far south in Pasadena, but about three time a year on average, the Northern lights are visible this far south.  Granted you have to go to a dark sky sight, but it can still be done.

For the more adventurous, you can book a trip with my friend Dennis Mammana on one of his many journeys up to the Northern climes to photograph the aurora.  Dennis just finished up his Alaskan aurora trip but has four more planned this year.  If you would like to join Dennis an learn how to photograph aurora from him, you can book your trip here.  If you are planning on going solo, Dennis has a lot of good information on how to capture your own Northern lights image here.

You can also sign up for alerts from spaceweather.com for when there is a possibility of the Northern lights being visible in your area.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

Duck!

If Curiosity’s problem with its A-side computer due to high energy cosmic radiation weren’t bad enough, now the Sun is taking aim at the rover.

Curiosity Solar Blast

I mean really.  First there was the 8.5 month trip through the hazards of the solar system where micro-meteors and dust abound.  Then there was the 7 minutes of terror (or hell if you were on of the mission designers).  A few glitches in the beginning, and now this.  Can’t the Universe just get along?

Solar flares and coronal mass ejections have had an impact on other Mars missions.  In 2003, an intense solar flare knocked out the radiation detector on the Odyssey orbiter.  Which is kind of ironic when you think about it.

However, not to fear.  Curiosity is bracing for the bad space weather headed toward it while Opportunity, the little rover that could, and both space orbiters will continue normal operations.

Speaking of bad weather.  It is a new moon weekend for me.  I hope the weather clears up today so that I can get some good images of PANSTARRS early in the evening.  Hopefully, you will make time on the 12th to go out and look at the Moon/comet conjunction.  Take pictures with whatever you have and send me a copy.  I would love to see how it goes.

Maybe my fellow blogger over at Alien Shores will consider making this his photo challenge of the week!