As some of you may be aware, sun spots increase and decrease on an 11 year cycle. Auroral activity associated with sunspots is more frequent and intense during the peak years of the cycle. The next peak is in 2013.During periods of solar maximum the aurora can be seen far below the Arctic Circle and as far as central Europe and into the Northern US states. This intense activity can also interfere with radio, satellite, and even power grid systems, sometimes shutting these down.Anyway, the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute studies the aurora and they have a a website where they produce Aurora forecasts. http://www.gi.alaska.edu/AuroraForecastIn addition, you can view active aurora activity live via the web:http://salmon.nict.go.jp/live/aurora_cam/live_aurora_cam_e.h...This camera is run by by Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology(NICT), which works out of the International Arctic Environment Research Center at the the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). NICT performs aurora research at this facility and from the UAF's Poker Flat Research Range. While Poker Flat is largest land-based rocket research range in the world and the only high-latitude rocket range in the United States, the remote location allows for other research activity into the Aurora BorealisNICT has installed remote sensor equipment and cameras at Poker Flat to perform aurora research. They have made one of their cameras available via the internet. If it is dark and the Aurora are active, you can get some pretty decent live views.
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