Welcome to SeeTheAurora.com

Seeing the aurora is a goal for many, but a lot of people don't know how. Many are unaware that the northern lights can even be seen in the lower US. I created this website as a guide for those who want to learn all about the northern lights and how to view and photograph them. It was October 24, 2011 when I saw the aurora borealis for the first time. Despite living beneath the bright light pollution of northern Illinois, I watched in amazement as half the sky was filled with color. Red, purple, and green pillars rose up and exploded across the northern sky, changing by the second. Ever since then I've been hooked. In the years since I've been privileged to see and photograph the northern lights dozens of times from 6 US states and 3 countries. No two displays are alike, they always vary in color, shape, and intensity.

Upcoming:

  • Best Places in the World to See the Aurora
  • Best Places in the US to See the Aurora
  • How to Time Lapse the Aurora

Aurora Stats and Averages

Aurora Stats and Averages

Climatologists study records of Earth's weather to calculate averages and find trends and patterns.I wanted to do the same with space weather to find out how geomagnetic activity varies by year, month, and day. The British Geological Survey (BGS) has been keeping records of geomagnetic activity since 1932. So I
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KP Index Explained

KP Index Explained

Open full screen map The Kp-index is a scale used to characterize the magnitude of geomagnetic disturbances. A geomagnetic storm starts at Kp5 after which the G-scale is also used. Kp0 = Quiet Kp1 = Quiet Kp2 = Quiet Kp3 = Unsettled Kp4 = Active Kp5 = Minor storm (G1) Kp6
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How to See the Aurora

How to See the Aurora

I recommend reading the What Causes the Aurora post first. Seeing the aurora is simply a matter of being in the right place at the right time. But how do you know where and when to go? What sort of conditions should you be looking for? Live Data The Kp-index is one of the easiest
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How to Photograph the Aurora

How to Photograph the Aurora

There are 2 reasons to photograph the aurora. The first is the same reason you'd photograph anything amazing, to preserve the memory and share with others. But the 2nd reason is the northern lights show up much clearer in a picture than they do to the naked eye. This is
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What Causes the Aurora

What Causes the Aurora

Before learning how to see the aurora, first it helps to know where they come from. To understand what causes the aurora first you must know a bit about the sun. The Sun The sun hangs in space 150 million kilometers away from Earth. A ball of hot plasma 1.4 million kilometers
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