Maritime Cookbook Instores

Guide to Chasing the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis

Northern Lights

The Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis have been very visible on Prince Edward Island lately. And on this particular trip I figured I would cover some tips on how to see the Northern Lights from mid-latitude locations.

The Key Indexes

None of these indexes are set in stone as a key figure that will allow you 100% success on your aurora borealis hunting. If you combine them all, your chances definitely increase. For myself, I look for a combination of all 3 before I will depart on any aurora adventure.

  1.  Follow the KP Index: The KP Index is a number typically ranging from 0-9 that determines the level of activity the Aurora Borealis is presenting at. Typically for PEI, you need around a 5 to be able to see them on the horizon.
  2.  Monitor the Solar Wind Speed: When the sun gives off a solar flare, it sends a large amount of wind. In the event this wind is earth facing, it will cause the solar wind speed to increase. Anything around 500km/sec will assist in making the aurora more visible. Big thanks to Tamitha Skov for this tip.
  3.  The BZ Level: Think of the BZ index as the determining factor if a door is open or closed. If the BZ number is positive then the door is closed and the aurora borealis cannot get in. If the BZ number is a negative integer then the door is open and the Northern Lights will be visible.

Go to Page 2 to see ALL indexes and charts


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