A December to Remember
Updated: Mar 12, 2021
sooooo many reasons to enjoy the night sky this December! Solar eclipse, aurora borealis, meteor showers, Jupiter and Saturn.... just to name the headlines!
First most time sensitive is the northern lights! A solar storm is causing increased aurora activity meaning it's highly likely that we will see the northern lights as far south as south Dakota and even possible (but unlikely) they can even be seen in Colorado. https://www.spaceweatherlive.com/ is where I go for aurora predictions and it's currently predicting a "kp" value of between 3 to 7 tonight(12/10/20) and 3 to 6 Friday(12/11/20) night. the kp value is used to tell where aurora can be seen using the map below. These predictions are giving a wide range and unfortunately it will be hard to know for sure till within ~3hrs of the aurora event.
Something else to keep in mind is cloud cover is predicted to be thick https://graphical.weather.gov/sectors/conus.php?element=Sky you can use this map from the national weather service to see if there's a clear northern area near you. personally I'm watching the forecast in Hot Springs SD (~4hr drive from Denver) and if I see a break in the cloud I might just go for it. Otherwise I'll be searching youtube live streams to see if any observatories are live streaming the aurora.
it's a tad ominous that 2020 will be ending with a total solar eclipse that is partially visible in significant superstitious sites such as Easter Island. The 2020 solar eclipse will occur mid day December 14th and only visible in the southern hemisphere. I tried and tried to get down there to see it this year, the two obvious choices are Chile or Argentina both are very difficult to travel to during the COVID lock downs. So.... I'll again be searching youtube live streams to see if any observatories are live streaming the eclipse.