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This plot shows the current extent and position of the auroral oval in the northern hemisphere, extrapolated from measurements taken during the most recent polar pass of the NOAA POES satellite.

The statistical pattern depicting the auroral oval is appropriate to the auroral activity level determined from the power flux observed during the most recent polar satellite pass. The power fluxes in the statistical pattern are color coded on a scale from 0 to 10 ergs .cm-2.sec-1 according to the color bar on the right. The pattern has been oriented with respect to the underlying geographic map using the current universal time, updated every ten minutes.

This presentation provides an estimate of the location, extent, and intensity of aurora on a global basis. For example, the presentation gives a guide to the possibility that the aurora is located near a given location in the northern hemisphere under the conditions that existed at the time of the most recent polar satellite pass.

This plot shows the current extent and position of the auroral oval in the southern hemisphere, extrapolated from measurements taken during the most recent polar pass of the NOAA POES satellite.
The statistical pattern depicting the auroral oval is appropriate to the auroral activity level determined from the power flux observed during the most recent polar satellite pass. The power fluxes in the statistical pattern are color coded on a scale from 0 to 10 ergs .cm-2.sec-1 according to the color bar on the right. The pattern has been oriented with respect to the underlying geographic map using the current universal time, updated every ten minutes.
This presentation provides an estimate of the location, extent, and intensity of aurora on a global basis. For example, the presentation gives a guide to the possibility that the aurora is located near a given location in the southern hemisphere under the conditions that existed at the time of the most recent polar satellite pass.

How These Patterns Can Be Used

When displayed in geographic coordinates, the statistical patterns of auroral particle power input provide a "best-guess" estimate of the locations, geographic extents, and intensities of aurora at the time of the satellite pass that provided the estimate of auroral activity.

Energetic auroral particles (primarily electrons) not only produce the visible aurora but also greatly influence the properties of the ionosphere and are connected with strong electrical currents (as much as several million amperes) that flow in the ionosphere and connect along the geomagnetic field to dynamo processes at high altitude in the magnetosphere.

Thus, this same display provides a similar "best-guess" estimate of the geographic locations that may be subject to geomagnetic fluctuations that result from electrical currents flowing in the ionosphere, or the radio propagation paths that may be degraded because of increased absorption of the radio signal by the disturbed ionosphere.

(Images and Data Courtesy of NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center)
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