aurora science & chasing: SEMINARS & WEBINARS

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Aurora tourism and recreational activities have skyrocketed in the past decade. So much so that it has overtaken the amount of means put in aurora research, science communication and prediction. Subsequently, many people travel to see the lights or work in the industry of aurora chasing without the crucial elements to really understand what is going on or how to interpret the tools to use. There is rampant misinformation and misconception about the aurora and our mission is to try and rectify this in a way that uses the most accurate and advanced tools. 

 

We offer three-hour aurora science and chasing classes monthly for both beginners and more advanced chasers. Every month, we offer a 'physical session' in Tromsø city reserved for professional in the industry (aurora guiding companies, photographers...) and also a similar online session for everyone (including those who cannot attend our seminars in Tromsø). 

 

The goal of the class is to give you a visual and didactic understanding of how the aurora works, where it comes from and eventually how to chase it in the best way to never miss it. For professionals, it's also about communicating the right information to clients, especially when they have questions going off the beaten path. Not to mention time managing / working around the aurora. 

  • With whom?

Adrien Mauduit is an aurora and space weather expert, an experienced aurora chaser with almost 10 years of expertise in many countries like the USA, Canada, Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Finland. He serves as a hub for space weather and aurora prediction for the locale of northern Norway and is an active member of the Space Weather Woman Steering Committee, which aims at expanding the aurora chasing and space weather enthusiast community. Needless to say that you will be in good hands with his expertise and dedication! 

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  • Where and when?

The physical session in Tromsø is mostly spontaneous and depends on how many guides are interested. We have a meeting room at our disposal to offer the course to professionals. Opportunities will be published on our social media handles and if you don't want to miss the next one, please shoot us an email. 

The online sessions are happening every month, generally around the second week. We tend to offer them on Saturday nights at 8-11PM (GMT+1), but we sometimes alternate with week days to accommodate everyone and as many time zones as possible. For those who still can't attend and still desire a full course, all our sessions are recorded and all participants get access to the recording plus the PDF from the presentation.

  • How?

The course consists of a three-hour interactive presentation. The slides will be sent to all participant on email at the end of the class. 

The online version of the class is made via Zoom. We will record the screen to allow you to go back on the course without worrying about taking notes. 

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  • What?

The lecture includes several parts. We expand on how the aurora is created from the Sun to our atmosphere, how solar activity influences the geomagnetic activity, the importance of geomagnetic latitude and longitude, the characteristics of the aurora (shapes, colors, behavior), how we typically experience the aurora during the course of a night, what is the best place and time, how to predict it and read the solar wind and ground data. We also go over many useful tips and tricks so that you never miss the elusive phenomenon.  All of the information is smartly connected together and offers you a comprehensive yet easy-to-understand insight on aurora science and chasing. You will be provided with some of the best home-made visuals in the field to grasp the phenomenon! 

Here's a full overview of what the course may entail, regardless of the session. As this presentation is actually worth a 6 hour course, some of the subjects might be brushed over and some other developed more depending on the attendees' need. As of now, all our attendants are entitled to a free follow-up / Q&A session via zoom (usually the next month), so they are actually getting 2 classes for the price of one! 

 

  • Prerequisites of physics – plasma, magnetism, electricity 

 

  • Regime 1 - The Sun & the corona: introduction to heliophysics

 

Physical and chemical structure of the Sun, magnetic configuration of the Sun leading to the solar activity and cycles. 

Features of the photosphere

Features of the chromosphere (Br, Ar, loops, prominences / filaments, CH)

Solar events (solar flares & EMR bursts, CMEs, SEPs)

 

  • Regime 2 – The interplanetary space, transient events, the solar wind

 

Monitoring the IPS

Recognizing and understanding transient events in the solar wind (SBCs, IPs, HSSs, CIRs, SIRs, ICMEs, problem ICMEs) 

 

  • Regime 3 – The geomagnetosphere: structure & dynamics

 

Structure of the magnetosphere

Coupling of IMF and geomagnetic field: the Magnetospheric Convection Cycle (Dungey Cycles)

Currents of the magnetosphere (& ionosphere)

The magnetospheric substorm 

  • Regime 4 – The ionosphere, ionospheric currents & auroral phenomena

 

Structure of the ionosphere

Composition of the ionosphere & the aurora as a layered phenomenon

The auroral oval / electrojet

L-shells, magnetic mapping, Auroral zones and geomagnetic coordinates

Geo-effectiveness and geomagnetic activity 

The Auroral Substorm

Measuring and monitoring the geomagnetic activity (Magnetometers, magnetograms, K index, other geomagnetic indices)

Geomagnetic storms

Auroral structures and colors

Forecasting & assessing the geomagnetic activity as a chaser (3 step workflow with tools to use, where to find them, how to use them: solar wind charts with components, Sun images, coronographs, models, HPI, indices, webcams, websites, apps…)
 

  • Photographing & filming the aurora 

 

Gear

Planning

Camera setup and settings

Taking the picture

Filming the aurora

 

  • Questions and case study

  • Practical

The physical lecture costs NOK 1500 with a discount (50% off the third person from the same company, 20% off for each person from a same company attending above or equal 5). The online version costs NOK 1250. By proceeding with the booking you are accepting the terms of payment for the class (no refund policy because we offer alternatives every month!).