KP-5 IS EXPECTED WITHIN THE NEXT 4 HOURS
The aurora borealis might be visible as far south as Edinburgh (gb), Gothenburgh (se) and Riga (lv) when weather and light conditions are optimal.
WHAT CAUSES THE AURORA BOREALIS?
The aurora borealis are the result of collisions between particles in the Earth's atmosphere and charged particles released from the sun's atmosphere. When this happens we can see the beautiful colors appearing in the sky. The aurora may appear in every color range, but the most common color is green. Aurora borealis is also known as the northern lights. Take a look at the following video from It's Okay To Be Smart for a fun and more detailed explanation.
What are KP numbers and what do they mean?
Well to put it simply-the abbreviation KP comes from the German "Planetarische Kennziffer" which translates to planetary numbers. In English- Planetary Index. So basically- KP-index is a mix of terminology indicating your chances of witnessing the Aurora Borealis.
It's a rising numerical function that is used to calculate and indicate the chances of conditions which are conducive to aurora borealis occurring. The higher the number- the higher the chances of you getting to see some northern lights.
The KP number is a system of measuring aurora strength. It goes from 0 to 9 (0 being very weak, 9 being a major geomagnetic storm with strong auroras visible).
So when you're looking at the aurora forecast page, you want to look for high Kp numbers. The higher the better. Anything above (and including) Kp5 is classed as a geomagnetic storm.
Useful links and services
What KP number should i look for?
This depends on where you are. The further south you are, the higher KP number you need to see the aurora borealis. If you want to learn more about KP and what KP number you should choose you can take a look at this page.
Aurora borealis forecast is available on Android
Did you know that we offer our aurora forecast to your android phone? With this app you can get an alert when the aurora borealis is visible in your area. Download the app from Google Play today.
Sign up for our email alert service
We offer an email alert service that sends you an alert when the aurora is expected to be visible in your area within the next four hours. You can subscribe to the email alert by on this page.
Get social and join our visitors gallery
The Visitors gallery is a service run by you, the visitor of our site. This is a service we are very happy to host and administer. It pleases us to see photos and videos of the beautiful northern lights unfold from many places in the northern hemisphere. The gallery can be found here.
HOW ABOUT THE NEXT HOUR?
The following graphics shows the aurora borealis forecast 1 hour ahead in time. The graphics are provided by the Kjell Henriksen Observatory and the software SvaltrakII. The picture on the left shows the location and size of the hit-zone of the electrical particles that hit the atmosphere. The green field in the picture is called is called the auroral oval. We must be near, or under this oval to see the northern lights. The right image is an "all-sky" view showing the location of the auroral oval relative to the stars. In both pictures you can see the KP number.