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are issued when space weather activity favourable for viewing aurora is in progress. When an alert is
current the alert information indicates the latitudinal range in terms of high, middle, low and equatorial regions where aurora may
be visible under good observing conditions. All times are given in Universal Time (UT), which is similar to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
are warnings with lead times of up to 48 hours. They will only be issued in response to a
significant solar Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) or coronal hole likely to be geo-effective. Aurora alerts will follow if favourable
space weather activity acutally occurs.
are warnings with lead times of 3-7 days. They will be issued in response to the presence of a large
active solar region expected to rotate into a position that is favourable for CMEs, and similarly for significant coronal holes.
Solar regions that maintain high levels of solar flare activity for sustained periods are rare. Consequently, these notices are
likely to be infrequent. Aurora watches and/or alerts will follow if a geoeffective CME is observed and/or significant geomagnetic
activity actually occurs.
The Space Weather API
provides details of any aurora notice (alert, watch, outlook) current
for the Australian region.
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The K index
is a measure of geomagnetic activity
for a 3-hour period. The larger the K index, the greater the chance of seeing an aurora at lower latitudes. To check if an aurora
could be visible at your latitude for a given K-index value, look at our table of
visibility range estimates
or try out the Auroral Oval Prediction
. The Kaus
index is the Estimated Australian Region K index
is a near real-time
estimate of the K index for the Australian region, which is recalculated approximately every 5 minutes. The Kp
is the Estimated Planetary K index
sourced from NOAA/SWPC
. The Kp
index is updated every 3-hours and its
timestamp will be behind that of the Kaus
Current Solar Wind
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More details about the solar wind are given at
Solar Wind Speed
. The solar wind data is supplied by the US NOAA
Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC
). This Real Time Solar Wind (RTSW)
data set originates from NASA's Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR
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AskBOM: What is an aurora?
Video: Watch this short video "What is an aurora?" to understand more about auroras.
BOM Weather Guide: Catching the Aurora
Video: Watch this short video for advice on how to see an aurora.