Introducing the Aurora Helpdesk!
Updated: Sep 21, 2019
After years of chasing auroras across both hemispheres and analyzing space weather data together with several knowledgeable aurora enthusiasts, I would like to introduce a fresh project: an aurora helpdesk.
When it comes to predicting the northern (or southern) lights, there are often a large quantity and range of questions and so this specialized help service has been set up for that reason.
What is the aurora helpdesk service?
- Personalised aurora trip planning
- Help with interpreting forecasts and data
- Choose the best locations and times for viewing the lights
- Recommendations for aurora photography, accommodation and phone apps
- Aurora-chasing fact sheets for your location of interest
- Contact a real person with space weather expertise
- Save a lot of money on tours by learning the essentials of aurora-chasing
- Join online facebook communities
The advice presented to you is based on comprehensive study of current and past auroral events & trends, academic research, and the field experience of not only myself but fellow aurora chasers too.
Furthermore, I’ve had a keen interest in weather and a passion for travel for over 10 years and understand the types of locations and times of year you would be best suited to seeing northern & southern lights. Did you know that bright red auroras were seen across the USA, Southern Europe, and Southern Australia as recently as 2003?
If you’re planning a trip far in advance, I can advise. Think of it as an aurora-related help service.
If you’re planning a trip now or in the next day, I can advise you where to go and whether conditions will be favourable.
We can help you interpret and make sense of the multitudes of data, numbers and forecasts on space weather websites. We know it can be quite confusing and frustrating to make sense of these and hence would be more than happy to help.
The service can also include recommendations on what apps to download (and how to use them), what camera to buy, what camera settings to use, and accommodation that suits your needs the most and maximizes your chances of seeing an aurora.
Most of all, the benefit of this service is that it allows you to speak to a real person with strong knowledge of aurora, weather and travel that can assist you on your space weather inquiries and related trip planning. The information we give you can be as detailed or concise as you like.
Data Sources: information is collated and put together based on data from any number of the following Spaceweatherlive.com, weatherspark.com, spaceweather.com, bom.gov.au, swpc.noaa.gov, cdn.softservenews.com, windy.com, canon.com.au, seetheaurora.com, darksitefinder.com, Google (maps, weather, satellite), numerous academic journal articles on solar physics, space weather science and atmospheric science, personal knowledge and/or experience, and community knowledge and/or experience.
Before you submit a request it is important that you read the below disclaimers!
I cannot guarantee that due to my services you will see the aurora. I can however give you all the relevant information that will give you the best chances.
I cannot provide accurate forecasts for specific locations on dates far in the future, for example I cannot answer ‘Will I see the northern lights in Reykjavik, Iceland between the 20-25 February 2020?’ No one knows the answer to this, as it depends on local weather and what the sun is doing at the time. Those questions are like asking if it will be sunny in New York next Christmas – no one will know for certain, not even the top meteorologist. Aurora can only be forecast for certain an hour in advance and in a rough indication can be given 3-5 days prior.
I can however give you the essential information on weather trends, top viewing locations (when aurora is happening), and what to expect on in general regarding auroras & solar activity for given time periods. I can definitely help you in determining the right amount of time to stay in a given place in order to see the lights. I can also recommend tour companies if that’s how you wish to undertake your aurora adventure.