I have always enjoyed watching the weather and the stars. However, I’m not much of a night owl, and every attempt I’ve made to stay up late enough to see an Aurora after a solar event has failed, miserably. Time and time again I would fall asleep, and wake up to find that the conditions were great for viewing an Aurora the night before.
I wanted something that would wake me up if there was a possibility of seeing an Aurora. So, I created AuroraAlarm to do just that.
How it works
Every evening, AuroraAlarm checks to see if any solar events have occurred that could trigger a geomagnetic storm, which can produce an Aurora. If a solar event has occurred, it will send a text message notifying all users of the event, asking if they would like to receive a text message during the next few nights if conditions are optimal for viewing the Aurora.
If they indicate that they would like to be notified, AuroraAlarm will send them a text message at night if conditions are optimal for viewing the Aurora in their area.
What are optimal conditions?
- Dark. Likely in the hours past midnight.
- A Kp index strong enough to push the Aurora down to their geomagnetic latitude.
- Clear skies.
- A dark moon.
- Heroku used for hosting. Starting with the free account and will scale out as necessary.
- Signal used for SMS messaging.
- Various web services provided by the NOAA for space weather conditions and local weather conditions.