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Nogar

Predicting an Aurora Substorm in Edmonton, a Possible Game Changer

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At 6:33 UTC over Edmonton, Alberta I witnessed an Auroral substorm after waiting many months and recorded it on real-time video with an ultra wide aperture lens. Though the substorm was a somewhat fainter one the camera revealed vibrant greens and a reddish-pink below racing across the sky. Athabasca, which happens to be 140 KM north of Edmonton features an all sky camera for imaging Aurora. Looking over archives I discovered that this camera picked up a bright auroral substorm beginning at 6:26 UTC, 7 minutes before the one in Edmonton.

In previous observations I found that I could see aircraft at altitudes of about 35,000 FT when their above ground position was over 80KM away. This means that the Auroral substorm I recorded over Edmonton and the one recorded over Athabasca were likely the same ones considering how high the Aurora is, and this presents an issue. Using a reference photo I determined the inaccuracy of my camera's time stamp and accounted for it when recording the time of the substorm. The time stamp of the Athabasca camera must be accurate, otherwise it would be seeing into the future in this case.

This means the substorm over Athabasca was in fact 7 minutes ahead of the one in Edmonton. Correct me if I am wrong, but when magnetic disturbances occur they first happen at Northern Latitudes and make their way south if strong enough, reinforcing the observation over Edmonton and Athabasca. I will continue to observe for Auroral sub storms over Edmonton and if I can find an even remotely reliable correlation between the Athabasca camera live feed and what is observed in Edmonton then we will be able to predict the most beautiful light show on earth when it is bright enough to break through the light pollution and become visible to the naked eye. 

This may just be the ramblings of someone desperate to witness the greatest light show on earth while being in a city, but I do believe I could be onto something. I am interested to hear feedback from other community members. 

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My personal experiences are the same. I've seen a lot of aurora outbursts that start at higher latitudes and expand southwards over a span of several minutes.

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