Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Aurora in Uppsala!

It's been a sunny and beautiful weekend here in Uppsala, made even better by the fact that my girlfriend Lisette came to visit! I also had to renew my passport at the Canadian embassy in Stockholm (which was conveniently only a 5 minute walk from Central Station) so we did a bit of shopping and had a drink in Stockholm as well, which was nice. This coming week is basically a studying week for me as I have my Mathematical Methods of Physics exam on Monday, just before the new term starts.

Last night there was a big geomagnetic storm which resulted in visible Northern Lights pretty far south, and they were definitely visible from Uppsala! I didn't manage to get any photos from my phone, but my friend Davide managed to snap this photo with his iPhone:
Definitely not professional quality, but not bad for a phone picture!
[View on Instagram]
Uppsala's lattitude is just shy of 60 degrees N, so we do get to see the aurora from time to time. Since I got here in September there have been two big showings that I've been aware of, but I'm sure there have been more sightings that I hadn't heard about. If this is something you're interested in, it's worthwhile every so often to check out, which has news and status updates about the aurora. As far as I can tell, the aurora becomes visible in Uppsala around approximately Kp=5 (more info on the Kp scale here).

There are also apps which can notify you about visible auroras in your area. I just downloaded Aurora Notifier(+) this morning in the hopes of seeing them more frequently. I can't comment yet on whether it works or not but you will be hearing about it again if I see any more Northern Lights in the future!

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