Aurora Observation

Learn how scientists predict the northern lights by looking at space weather!The aurora from space, hovering over the pole in red and green.

When Are the Northern Lights Visible in Your Area - Activity PDF
Engage in a learning technique based on traditional ways of knowing and collect data to investigate a scientific question. Learn how Earth’s rotation, tilt, and orbit affect cause observable patterns and effect when the aurora is visible.

Be An Aurora Forecaster! - Activity PDF
Scientists predict when the northern lights are likely to occur by monitoring solar activity. They look at the strength, density, and speed of solar wind coming toward Earth and use the distance from Earth to the Sun to calculate when those particles will excite our atmosphere and cause an aurora display.

These lessons come from the Cultural Connections kits, which can be checked out from the museum here.

Visit the Geophysical Institute Aurora Forecast website to find out if the aurora will be visible tonight.

If you can't see the aurorafrom where you are, check out Poker Flat's live allsky cam.

360 degree shot of the aurora directly overhead.


NASA Space Science Education Consortium logo.This project was funded under NASA cooperative agreement NNX16AL65A. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
All photos from NASA unless otherwise credited.