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May 17, 2018 Northern Lights Forecast


JC in CA
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Anyone going to be in Alaska on May 17, 2018? The forecast for the Northern Lights that night is very favorable!

 

http://auroraforecast.gi.alaska.edu/?area=Alaska&date=20180517

 

Hope someone here will get to see them this year!

-Jerie

Wow! We’ll be in Girdwood that night as part of precruise landtour. Hope we can see them.

Thanks for the ‘Heads Up’ 😬

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Remember... You need dark, clear skies to see Northern Lights. You aren't going to get much in the way of dark skies in mid-May.

And May 17th is what... three weeks away? No weather or aurora forecast is accurate that far out.

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Anyone going to be in Alaska on May 17, 2018? The forecast for the Northern Lights that night is very favorable!

 

http://auroraforecast.gi.alaska.edu/?area=Alaska&date=20180517

 

Hope someone here will get to see them this year!

-Jerie

We go to Fairbanks the 19th. I have prayed for a chance to see them. I guess they may be answered.

 

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

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We go to Fairbanks the 19th. I have prayed for a chance to see them. I guess they may be answered.

 

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

May 19 (or even May 17), Fairbanks only gets to cival twilight - not very dark at all. Probably not dark enough to see the aurora.

 

Even Seward is only getting to Nautical twilight. I don't know if that is dark enough.

Edited by new_cruiser
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Your best bet to get accurate Aurora forecasts is to subscribe to an email service like spaceweather.com. Aurora's are caused by solar activity, the stronger the sunburst, the higher chance of better Aurora.

 

Here is the top story on the website today (April 25th)

 

INCOMING SOLAR WIND STREAM: A stream of solar wind is approaching Earth and it could graze our planet's magnetic field on April 26th or 27th. The gaseous material is flowing from a northern hole in the sun's atmosphere. The stream won't hit our planet head on, but sometimes grazing impacts produce interesting effects--for instance, making Earth's magnetosphere ring like a bell.

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Remember... You need dark, clear skies to see Northern Lights. You aren't going to get much in the way of dark skies in mid-May.

And May 17th is what... three weeks away? No weather or aurora forecast is accurate that far out.

 

AK Stafford,

The forecast is from University of Alaska in Fairbanks. Even in the middle of the night- still not dark enough in May? As an Alaskan, I'm sure you are quite experienced, thank you for the info.

Wishful thinking.....

 

-Jerie

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AK Stafford,

The forecast is from University of Alaska in Fairbanks. Even in the middle of the night- still not dark enough in May? As an Alaskan, I'm sure you are quite experienced, thank you for the info.

Wishful thinking.....

 

-Jerie

 

 

I live in Fairbanks. My birthday is in late April, and I have NEVER seen an aurora in Fairbanks on my birthday, nor have I seen one in May. Remember, Fairbanks' latitude is 64.83.

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AK Stafford,

The forecast is from University of Alaska in Fairbanks. Even in the middle of the night- still not dark enough in May? As an Alaskan, I'm sure you are quite experienced, thank you for the info.

Wishful thinking.....

 

-Jerie

It will not get dark enough... If you've never experienced the "midnight sun", it can be hard to wrap your mind around. I've had nights when I'm mowing the lawn, earbuds in and listening to music. Get done, put the mower away and doing stuff around the lawn. Look at the phone and.... wow! It's 11 pm. Still light enough to work by... Been up fishing at 4 am and yep, it's completely light out.

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The UoAk website is only forecasting aurora activity from solar wind and coronal holes. They do that by watching the sun rotate and guess when a known coronal hole will point toward Earth. Unfortunately, coronal holes rarely make uber-auroras. And in May in Alaska, you will need a very bright aurora to see it. Very bright auroras are caused by coronal ejections and ejections are caused by sun spots. The sun is close to its solar minimum, is quiet, and does not have many sun spots. There have only been 17 sun spots the whole year.

 

Bottom line: The odds off seeing an aurora in May-July in Alaska is almost zero. So do not get your hopes up.

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AK Stafford,

The forecast is from University of Alaska in Fairbanks. Even in the middle of the night- still not dark enough in May? As an Alaskan, I'm sure you are quite experienced, thank you for the info.

Wishful thinking.....

 

-Jerie

You can see for yourself how light it will be. Try this:

 

Go to https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/

 

Enter the city you live in or near in the search box.

 

On the sunrise & sunset page for that city, move the slider in the yearly sun graph to the current date.

Look below the graph and note the start end end times for civil twilight.

 

Then go outside in the evening toward the end of civil twilight and look at the sky. It's still fairly blue isn't it? You can't see any stars. The sky in the middle of the night in Fairbanks on May 19 will be less dark than that. May 16 is the last day this year that gets darker than civil twilight (nautical twilight).

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It will not get dark enough... If you've never experienced the "midnight sun", it can be hard to wrap your mind around. I've had nights when I'm mowing the lawn, earbuds in and listening to music. Get done, put the mower away and doing stuff around the lawn. Look at the phone and.... wow! It's 11 pm. Still light enough to work by... Been up fishing at 4 am and yep, it's completely light out.

 

A totally different world.....

And the opposite in winter? I am truly spoiled living where I do!

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You can see for yourself how light it will be. Try this:

 

Go to https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/

 

Enter the city you live in or near in the search box.

 

On the sunrise & sunset page for that city, move the slider in the yearly sun graph to the current date.

Look below the graph and note the start end end times for civil twilight.

 

Then go outside in the evening toward the end of civil twilight and look at the sky. It's still fairly blue isn't it? You can't see any stars. The sky in the middle of the night in Fairbanks on May 19 will be less dark than that. May 16 is the last day this year that gets darker than civil twilight (nautical twilight).

 

Ahhh - thank you.

The activity may be high - but the light conditions due to the time of year, won't support seeing it.

Took me awhile, but I'm getting it.

Was exciting to think that maybe....

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The UoAk website is only forecasting aurora activity from solar wind and coronal holes. They do that by watching the sun rotate and guess when a known coronal hole will point toward Earth. Unfortunately, coronal holes rarely make uber-auroras. And in May in Alaska, you will need a very bright aurora to see it. Very bright auroras are caused by coronal ejections and ejections are caused by sun spots. The sun is close to its solar minimum, is quiet, and does not have many sun spots. There have only been 17 sun spots the whole year.

 

Bottom line: The odds off seeing an aurora in May-July in Alaska is almost zero. So do not get your hopes up.

 

Hopes are down now! Thanks for tine explanation!

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Not dark enough. The forecast is for the auroral activity, not the ability to see it.

 

We were in Alaska over the summer solstice once before- we definitely needed the black out blinds. I get it now..... bummer...

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I found this on Facebook....

 

Today, Fairbanks, Alaska did not experience nautical dawn or dusk, so we will not see any stars except the bright “navigation” stars again until the 18th of August.

Nautical dawn is the moment when the geometric center of the Sun is 12 degrees below the horizon in the morning. It is preceded by astronomical twilight.

Similarly, nautical dusk is the instant when the geometric center of the Sun is 12 degrees below the horizon in the evening. It marks the beginning of astronomical twilight, the disappearance of the horizon, the appearance of stars (making differentiation of the “navigation” stars difficult), and thus the end of celestial navigation observations using a sextant.

An all-night period of nautical twilight does not constitute a "white night," which requires the Sun to remain less than 6 degrees below the horizon all night, causing civil twilight from sunset to sunrise. That will occur in Fairbanks, Alaska from the 17th of May until the 28th of July.

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I found this on Facebook....

 

Today, Fairbanks, Alaska did not experience nautical dawn or dusk, so we will not see any stars except the bright “navigation” stars again until the 18th of August.

Nautical dawn is the moment when the geometric center of the Sun is 12 degrees below the horizon in the morning. It is preceded by astronomical twilight.

Similarly, nautical dusk is the instant when the geometric center of the Sun is 12 degrees below the horizon in the evening. It marks the beginning of astronomical twilight, the disappearance of the horizon, the appearance of stars (making differentiation of the “navigation” stars difficult), and thus the end of celestial navigation observations using a sextant.

An all-night period of nautical twilight does not constitute a "white night," which requires the Sun to remain less than 6 degrees below the horizon all night, causing civil twilight from sunset to sunrise. That will occur in Fairbanks, Alaska from the 17th of May until the 28th of July.

 

Thank you! I appreciate the explanation.

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