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Aurora Watch

Written by: Posted on: December 31, 1969 at 7:00PMPosted in: Main Topic

When the skies are clear there aren’t many places better to see the aroura borealis than here in beautiful Kodiak, Alaska.  Since we don’t have the light pollution of larger areas, you won’t need to go very far out of town to reach a good spot to view the night time skies.

You can find apps for you smart phone or tablet for aurora activity. There are also some good websites with aurora activity information.   I like the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Geophysical Institute’s site at http://www.gi.alaska.edu/AuroraForecast/Alaska/20170401.

Photo by Denise Link

Anytime the ratings are KP5 or higher you should be on the lookout for a good showing of the northern lights. Cloudy nights and bright moon phases can hinder a good aurora sighting. Don’t expect to see the northern lights during the summer.  It’s not that they’re not active; we just have too much daylight to be able to view them.

On March 16th we will have a KP5 rating but the moon will be 4 days past full and still fairly bright. It’s still worth watching for the lights though. On the 28th the aurora rating will be KP6 with a new moon, meaning the moon won’t be visible that night. The sun sets at 8:42pm and rises the next morning at 7:44am. So if the weather cooperates it should be a good show. The nights of the March 28 (KP6), 29 (KP6), 30 (KP5) & 31(KP5)  should all be good viewing, weather permitting. 

Get out away from the lights of the downtown area, dress warm, bring a friend and a camera and enjoy the show.

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