Observation of recent Auroral activity

anonymous anonymous at fakedomain.ips
Thu Oct 3 09:49:14 EST 2002

Please find below some recent reports of good auroral activity from southern

Marty Rudd's report is from his home location in Somerville, Victoria, about
50km south east of Melbourne.  The approximate latitude is 39 degrees south.

Rob McNaught's report is from Coonabarabran in NSW at Siding Spring.

Also please find below FYI some information about our auroral alert
telephone network that helps more people see this phenomenon (though they
don't necessarily report it).

Peter Skilton
president, Astronomical Society of Frankston Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: anonymous <anonymous at fakedomain.ips>
Sent: Thursday, 3 October 2002 1:14 AM
To: EAMN at fakedomain.ips
Subject: [EAMN] Aurora

I have posted some photos of an aurora i saw on the morning of the 15th of
September, Sunday morning around 4:00 am. I know its not meteor stuff but it
was a cool aurora.

-----Original Message-----
From: anonymous <anonymous at fakedomain.ips>
Sent: Wednesday, 2 October 2002 11:39 PM
To: EAMN at fakedomain.ips
Subject: Re: [EAMN] Aurora was great

Hi Rob,

There has been quite a bit of aurora activity in the last few weeks. I have
seen three auroras in this period. One instance was pretty bloody good and
I've just posted some photos from that night (14th September - actually
Sunday morning) but there was some good aurora activity Wednesday morning at
about 3:00 am EAST, where there were some prominant beams and that
distinguishing red glow in the sky, but unfortunately it did not develop
into any major activity and only lasted 10-15 mins. The display on the
morning of the 15th on the other hand was a fantastic display that lasted
almost one hour (I spent 20 mins inside looking for my aurora alert phone
list which I eventually found and had to make 4 phone calls before I managed
to contact anyone, and by that time the aurora only lasted another 10 mins
before it died away).
Typical beams as well as red and green glowing were very prominant, as well
as the fact that it stretched almost right across the whole southern
The photos come up pretty good too, very happy with them.

PS : Rob, are you going to the US for the leonids this year ?

Marty Rudd
-----Original Message-----
From: anonymous <anonymous at fakedomain.ips>
Sent: Wednesday, 2 October 2002 11:05 AM
To: Skilton, Peter SAL-OAFP/3
Subject: RE: [EAMN] Aurora?

Hi Peter,
I'll email you in future when I see something.  Looking at the Kp indices
from last night it is clear I saw an aurora (peak indices occuring at the
time I saw the aurora.  Surprisingly this is the first red aurora I've ever
seen.  For a few minutes it had a slightly defined edge to the western
extreme, but as I kept watching for rays to appear confirming the nature,
it just faded out.  I've seen overhead aurora from Scotland, with rayed
bands and flaming in the background (as good as any Leonid storm!), broad
intensely green bands with red lower edges, but never a diffuse red
aurora.  I've only seen a few aurorae from Siding Spring and have missed
all the big ones over the past 20 years!
Cheers, Rob

<SNIP Name>
<SNIP Email>
-----Original Message-----
From: anonymous <anonymous at fakedomain.ips>
Sent: Wednesday, 2 October 2002 2:35 AM
To: EAMN at fakedomain.ips
Subject: [EAMN] Aurora?

Sorry about the off-topic post, but did anyone down south see an aurora
tonight?  There seemed to be a diffuse red glow in the south to about
10 degrees elevation at around 23:30 EST (13:30 UT Oct 1).  It took
on a sharpish edge for a few minutes then faded away.  No sign that this
was caused by a bush fire.

Rob at long 149.07E 31.3S

<SNIP Name>
<SNIP Email>


 -----Original Message-----
Subject:	Info on the Southern Australia Telephone Aurora Network

The Southern Australia Telephone Aurora Network was started by Roger Giller
in the Astronomical Society of Frankston a few years ago (i.e. last century)
in order to help a wider group of people in the community actually observe
the rare phenomenon of the aurora australis at middle southern latitudes.
The acronym of "satan" has been suggested as being quite appropriate when
you're standing beneath a sky rippling with curtains and beams of red
auroral light!

The immediate group is currently about 25 people, and includes many amateur
astronomers/scientists across many societies, some professional
astronomers/scientists, and unaffiliated observers also.  There are no
restrictions or fees or hidden catches on whoever wishes to join.  You don't
need to be in any astronomical group, or even have access to email/internet
to participate.

The basic idea centres around having a list of people and their telephone
contact numbers, and any restrictions they wish respected in terms of
contacting them at any time of the night (e.g. "please don't call me after
11pm weekdays", and "never on Saturdays").

Everyone on the list has a copy of this information (for example I keep mine
with my mobile phone at all times).

An address (preferably email, but snail-mail is fine) is also needed so as
to issue subsequent name/phone number/restriction updates to the people on
the entire list.  Addresses are not published to people on the list, and are
not used for any other purposes.  Some people list their mobile phone number
so that they have the option of turning it off when it suits them, if
specifying restricted times is too prescriptive for them.

If an aurora is seen, or strongly suspected, then the initiating observer
triggers the network by immediately calling two people - the one immediately
above them on the list, plus the one immediately below them on the list.
The important thing is to do this while the aurora is in progress - not

Any noted restrictions on contacting them should be respected by the caller.
These two other people, then each phone the one person immediately above or
below them on the list, respectively, who then do similarly(again respecting
any noted restrictions).  If no answer is received, or it goes to a phone
answering service, then the phoning person abandons trying to make contact
with this entry on the list, and phones the next along the list until
contact is successfully made.

In this way, the message efficiently propagates simultaneously up and down
the list.  When the list top or bottom is reached, the caller merely wraps
around and starts going through the list at the other end, until eventually
the message reaches everyone on the list who was available at the time.

Some people on the list trigger their own private networks of contacts, but
this should be done AFTER they have passed on the message within this
primary network.

In this way, the network allows rapid warning of an aurora-in-progress,
maximising the chances of its observation or photography while it is in

We've seen and photographed a few aurorae this way from the Port Phillip Bay
region of Victoria, down along the Mornington Peninsula, up to Ballarat way,
but there is absolutely no reason it cannot stretch further afield.  On
average we'd have about 2 or 3 seen per year from Frankston (latitude 38
degrees south), and the occasional false alarm (it is better to initiate a
false alarm than to miss a good one).

Invariably from our southern latitudes, the aurorae are red or pink, between
the south east and south west in direction, with sometimes hints of greens
and yellows.  They can span up to 60 degrees above the southern horizon.  I
have seen several serendipidously over the years while doing other observing
activities, such as variable star observing, occultation and graze timings,
meteor watching and just generally being out underneath clear night skies
and looking up.  This alert network provides the opportunity to others to
share the experience.

If you're worried about not being able to see them, personally my colour
vision is such that it takes a very bright red event for me to see anything
noticeable dancing in the sky, and this alert network enables me to see and
photograph events to which I'd otherwise probably be oblivious peripherally
even if I were outside, and share the experience with others.

If you are interested in participating, please simply forward to me all of
the following information, then I'll batch up other similar requests to join
in, before replying to the entire list (including you) with the new version
of the network list.  These batched updates to the list will be issued at
most 6 times a year upon changes being received.

(a) your name (to go on the issued list).
(b) your telephone number (to go on the issued list).
(c) any restrictions you wish to set about when not to be contacted by the
alert network - such as time of night, day of week etc. (to go on the issued
(d) email address and/or snail-mail address (this will not go on the issued
list, but is used for sending you updates to the content of the issued list.
An email address is preferred for convenience but is not essential).

If you do not trust this information to email, then please phone the
telephone number of the Astro. Society of Frankston on <SNIP> and
leave a message containing your details and requesting to go onto the next
update of the auroral network list.  It's as simple as that!

Peter Skilton (Astronomical Society of Frankston Inc.)


-----Original Message-----
From: anonymous <anonymous at fakedomain.ips>
Sent: Wednesday, 2 October 2002 4:20 PM
To: ips-aurora-alert at fakedomain.ips
Subject: [Ips-aurora-alert] IPS AURORA ALERT



Follow the progress of this event on the IPS Space Weather
Status Panel, http://ips/asfc/status_panel/

IPS would appreciate any feedback from people observing an
aurora giving details of location and time. Please email to
asfc at fakedomain.ips

Previous reports of observed aurora are regularly updated on

More information about IPS Aurora Alerts can be found on

This alert is not subject to forecaster validation. It is
automatically issued from autoscaled data which may produce
a false alarm on rare occasions.

IPS Radio and Space Services      | email: asfc at fakedomain.ips
PO Box 1386                       | WWW: http://ips
Haymarket NSW 1240  AUSTRALIA     | FTP: ftp://ftp.ips 
tel: <SNIP>              | fax: <SNIP> 
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