Auroras and Mono and Glasses, oh my!

I check various aurora australis forecast websites about 100 times a day. That is not an exaggeration.

I went out last night, despite a recent mono diagnosis, just long enough to get another blurry nighttime photo of this aurora over Ob Hill. You can barely see the aurora (and I couldn’t see it at all with the naked eye), but the stars and shooting star are nice!

This year is not looking good for auroras. We are currently at the low end of the 11-year sunspot cycle, which peaked around 2013 or 2014, so even at 77 degrees south with four months of Polar Nights setting in, chances of seeing really good auroras are slim. Weirdly, according to the aurora forecast imagery that NOAA puts out, we are often too far south of the aurora oval to see anything. The Sub-Antarctic islands, as well as the continent’s northern coasts, are getting way more aurora action than we are.

But I’m keepin’ an eye out. The firehouse just set up an aurora alert on our pagers, so if someone spots an aurora and calls the firehouse, they’ll send out a pager alert to everyone who signed up.


In other news, my recent diagnosis of maybe strep throat (medical doesn’t have the resources to test for that) was upgraded to maybe mono. In better health news, I got new glasses for the first time in six years. Having lenses that aren’t old, scratched, and have been on my face since I was 20 is SO awesome.

Photo by Lindsey Clark

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