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Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Strong Geomagnetic storm underway, may persist until nightime hours in Australia/NZ (June 23)

UPDATE:  Night has now fallen, glimpses of aurora have been reported in Tasmania through gaps in cloud and a possible report of aurora through cloud gaps in Victoria. The solar wind speed is high (618 Km/sec), and the magnetic field fluctuates but is currently a very aurora friendly -14 nT. The planetary K index is predicted to rise above 7.

A geomagnteic storm that hit in the early morning (around 5 am) in Australia is ongoing. The Storm reached G4 (severe) levels in the early morning, and then has fluctuated between G1 (minor) and G3 (strong).

While over all NOAA is listing the storm as G3 (strong) with a planetary Kindex of 8, as of writing the more locally relevant Australian Kindex is 5, and the Australian IPS has issued a G1 (minor) geomagnetic storm alert and an aurora watch. The solar wind speed is high, and the magnetic feild fluctuates between -1 and -20 nT  (the bigger the better).

If this persists to nighttime hours then aurora could be potentially seen in Tasmania, Southern WA, Souther SA, Southern Victoria and if conditions are good into southern NSW. This mornings storm was visible in Victoria, Southern WA, Canberra and parts of NSW. With the fluctuating magnetic field  (aurora are most likely when the field is strongly negative) aurora may only occur in bursts, perhaps 30-40 minutes long, maybe shorter.

Look to the south for shifting glows, away for sources of light pollution.

However, cloud cover predictions suggest most of Southern Australia will have cloud. Nonetheless, it is worthwhile to pop out if there are holes in the cloud cover.

Visible around 10-30pm near Grampians in Victoria, some colour visible in photos only.
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