Near Real-Time Auroral and Solar data

The above image represents the ever-present auroral oval positioned over the north
magnetic pole of the Earth.
During times of auroral activity this oval expands and
descends around the Earth making the aurora visible to more southerly latitudes.
Aurora is caused by interaction between the Earth's magnetic field and the solar wind (a mix of charged particles blowing away from the sun).  During solar storms, enough of these charged particles make it through to the Earth's upper atmosphere that they interact with the earths natural magnetic field lines.  When enough of these particles collide, energy is released in the form of auroral light. While propagation is enhanced on  6 meters and above during periods of auroral activity, aurora can also make HF propagation via polar routes difficult.

The red arrow points towards the noontime meridian. This image is from the NOAA 15 POES. For a complete description of process used to gather and display this data, click the icon below to read an essay about the mission of the POES (Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite) written for the BCDX Club by David S. Evans of  the NOAA Space Environment Centre   

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Last modified November 09, 2008 by Paul B. Peters,
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Copyright 2000 -2008 Paul B. Peters, VE7BZ. All rights reserved.