Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Live Aurora Blogging Downunder
(Image (c) 2005 Gordon Garradd)
As I write a geomagnetic storm still rages here in Australia and New Zealand. The first of the Coronal Mass ejections hit us around 4.00 pm local time, by 8.00 pm the storm was raging, instruments were emailing me warnings and Gordon Garradd snapped this image of aurora from The Warrumbungles in northern NSW. So the storm had to be good.
(Image (c) 2005 Richard Pollard)
The Aurora list team swung into action and the telephone tree was activated. Over in NZ they were seeing wonderful things, folks in Tasmania were seeing bright white aurora, with shifting spikes. On the mainland, most people saw substantial red glows in Victoria (like this image by Richard, and the one down below by Lindsay and southern and mid-New South Wales (all with the unaided eye)
(Image (c) 2005 Lindsay Knowles)
At its peak, we had a K-index of 8, with a Bz of -26 nTelsa (ie a BIG storm). This was somewhat unexpected given that the CME's were really directed dead on to us. I was still getting reports at 11.00 pm local time.
What did I see? Well, I thought I saw nothing until I checked during a lull, the whitish glow to the south that I though was due to the city lights had gone, so I might have seen my first aurora! Not exciting visually, but a red-green colour blind person trying to see a faint red glow has a hard time of it, so I'm satisfied with a whitish glow.