AURORA and SOLAR SECTION
ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY of NEW ZEALAND
REPORTS OF AURORA AUSTRALIS SEEN DURING
1998 NOVEMBER

All dates and times UTC

Nov 2 10:00 Green and white glow in S. IBC 3.
                (S46.4 E169.8) - Otekura, South Otago, New Zealand
            11:00 Blue glow.
                (S46.5 E169.7) - Owaka, South Otago, New Zealand
            13:00 Bright white band.
                (S46.4 E169.8) - Otekura, South Otago, New Zealand

Nov 7 13:45 Greenish white well defined arc SE to SW, to elev 20. Faint rays visible in spite of bright Moon. Little movement. Rays fade and then return.
            14:00 Similar.
            14:15 Similar. Less rays. Spectroscope shows glow quite extensive. Display spoilt by Moon glow. Ceased observing.
                (S45.8 E169.3) - Edievale, West Otago, New Zealand

Nov 8 NTR First indication of aurora was 'mis-shapen' twilight in SE.
            8:30 Bright glow covering much of the southern horizon with rays extended at least 20 elev.
            10:00 Rays extended to about 40 elev.
                (S44.0 E170.5) - Tekapo, Canterbury, New Zealand
            09:00 to 12:00 Green arc SE to SW. Base 10 elev, 20 wide. Rays to at least elev 50 came and went. The rays in SE and SW slanting away from S.
                (S45.9 E170.5) - Dunedin, New Zealand
            9:30 Mostly white, but some bright green, glow.
                (S46.4 E169.8) - Otekura, South Otago, New Zealand
            09:45 Green/white rayed band to 10 elev.
            10:30 Peak of activity. Glow and 1 faint ray up to 40 elev. Two partial rayed bands.
            11:30 Aurora washed out by Moon rise.
                (S41.0 E175.5) - Carterton, New Zealand
            13:40 Aurora started to fade.
                (S44.0 E170.5) - Tekapo, Canterbury, New Zealand

Nov 9 Dusk to dawn Quite a bit of movement on and off through very light cloud. Very bright glow in S a lot of the time. Animals (farm) unsettled.
                (S46.4 E169.8) - Otekura, South Otago, New Zealand
            09:00 to 09:45 Big display visible.
                (S46.1 E168.9) - Gore, Southland, New Zealand
            09:15 Arc and glow SE to SW. Vertical rays to 40. Faint pink over a large area to the SE and a slightly brighter pink to the SW.
                (S43.4 E172.0) - Waddington, Canterbury, New Zealand
            9:24 Faint diffuse rays to S to 25 elev.
            9:30 Brighter rays SE to SSE to 50 elev. Fainter diffuse rays across to SSW. Pale pink colour suspected.
            9:32 Display fading.
            9:34 Faint ray to S. Faint rays across to SSW.
            9:35 Broad ray 5 wide SSE.
            9:38 Faint rays SSE. Much fainter rays across to SSW.
            10:00 No rays. Only a faint glow.
                (S41.3 E173.3) - Stoke, Nelson, New Zealand
            9:20 to 9:55 Pale green, purple, white and whitish-blue rayed band with colours varying, az 110 to 250 to elev 85 to 95.
                (S46.5 E168.3) - Invercargill, New Zealand
            9:30 to 10:00 Green glow at horizon with red curtains extending to zenith. It then retreated to a glow to S and back to red rays and then curtains. It then went back to a glow at about 11:00.
                (S45.7 E168.5) - Lumsden, New Zealand
            9:30 Strong glow across southern horizon; 100 in extent with strong rays stretching up about 40 elev. Rays seen to pop in and out in quick succession and turning into red shimmering curtains in parts of the aurora. Later rays reach elev 60 with glow to 40. The rays persisted for tens of seconds to minutes. After awhile the glow began to show distinct structure with lots of mini-rays within the glow. Then, all of a sudden, these rays begin to shoot up into the sky like brilliant searchlights. Soon the sky was filled with a rippling band of rays covering much of the southern horizon. Again colour began to appear in the upper parts of the rays to the east and west. Red colours the strongest part of the display. The centre of the aurora changed to red in the upper part and green in the lower part. Elsewhere the glow was of no particular colour. Later it was just a veil across southern horizon with a distinct edge at the bottom.
                (S44.0 E170.5) - Tekapo, Canterbury, New Zealand
            9:30 White glow across whole southern sky with one or two reddish patches and rayed band to SW.
                (S45.6 E167.6) - Manapouri, New Zealand
            9:35 Whitish glow with rays.
            9:50 Diffuse glow to elev 20. In SW a pale ray extended from elev about 10 to 30. Slightly west of this two wide rays with well defined edges embedded in pink glow.
            10:00 Display weakened.
                (S45.3 E169.4) - Alexandra, Central Otago, New Zealand
            10:20 to 10:30 Brilliant aurora once twilight had gone, gradually becoming more active in this 10 minute period. Bright rayed band az 110 to 250, to elev 70. Some faint green and red colours seen, more so slightly E of S.
                (S46.5 E168.3) - Otatara, Invercargill, New Zealand
            10:30 White band passing almost through zenith from horizon to horizon.
                (S45.6 E167.6) - Manapouri, New Zealand
            10:30 to 13:00 Strong greenish glow SE to WSW to elev 30, rays up to 40. Upper portions of rays in SSE were red. Brightness of background glow variable; brightening then sudden fading occurred over periods of 2 to 3 minutes. Rapid vertical development and then decay of rays within 1 to 2 minutes. When first noticed at 10:30 the entire sky was clouded over and no stars or Jupiter was visible but the green auroral glow was nonetheless visible through thinnish cloud to the south. IBC 1 to 3.
                (S41.5 E147.2) - Norwood, Tasmania, Australia
            10:40 Display continues.
                (S43.4 E172.0) - Waddington, Canterbury, New Zealand
                      Remarkable weakening of aurora. Only faint rays to SSW elev about 30, with a glow close to the horizon az 140 to 230.
            10:50 Slight further weakening. Rays no longer visible. Only a glow near SSW horizon.
            11:05 Only a very faint glow.
                (S46.5 E168.3) - Otatara, Invercargill, New Zealand
            12:00 Slowly shimmering curtain of light showing curls and rays within it, just like those aurora videos except this aurora was dancing near the horizon like a crown over the horizon. There was a clear gap between the horizon and the base of the aurora which slowly grew to several degrees as time progressed. Later still the curtain began to show more ripples so instead of the dozen ripples in the curtain there were many tens; perhaps a hundred?
                (S44.0 E170.5) - Tekapo, Canterbury, New Zealand
            12:30 Faint rayed band SSE to SSW to elev 10 to 25 visible for 2 to 3 minutes, with huge ray in SSE to elev 60 accompanied by sudden increase in intensity and greeness of background glow.
            12:55 Huge rays; 4 or 5 in south to elev 40. Very faint; noticed with averted vision.
                (S41.5 E147.2) - Norwood, Tasmania, Australia
            13:00 The aurora intensified with rays reaching to an elev of 40 to 50. Red in the upper parts. As the Moon rose above the mountains in the east the aurora gave a hint of purple in the very upper part.
                (S44.0 E170.5) - Tekapo, Canterbury, New Zealand
            13:15 to 14:00 Despite fog in south and rising Moon, strong auroral line seen in spectroscope.
                (S45.8 E169.3) - Edievale, West Otago, New Zealand
            14:00 Rays and glow continued for many minutes until the Moonlight began to wash out the sky. Occasional rays still popping up for a few tens of seconds in the south.
            14:24 Now only a bright southern horizon.
            15:30 Rays visible despite Moonlight and dawn twilight.
                (S44.0 E170.5) - Tekapo, Canterbury, New Zealand

Nov 10 9:30 to 14:15 Bright, white glow in S. Appeared to fade a little at the end of this period. Animals more settled.
                (S46.4 E169.8) - Otekura, South Otago, New Zealand

Nov 13 9:30 White glow to S and W.
                (S45.6 E167.6) - Manapouri, New Zealand
                      Very bright glow and mostly short rays with very little movement.
                (S46.4 E169.8) - Otekura, South Otago, New Zealand
            10:00 to 15:30 Aurora began at 10:00. Large rays to elev 60 with strong activity in aurora. Spread across about 80 in azimuth. Both red and green colours at times, and at one time we observed a complete loop above the horizon.
                (S42.6 E171.0) - Hokitika, New Zealand
            10:10 Pale green diffuse arc SSE to SW. Base elev 6, to 40 elev. IBC 3. Considerable cloud.
                (S46.5 E168.3) - Otatara, Invercargill, New Zealand
            10:30 One large, white ray, slightly east of south, suddenly shot up to almost the zenith and then after several seconds disappeared. Another ray, behaved similarly a few minutes later. Very bright glow and short rays continued, after this.
                (S46.4 E169.8) - Otekura, South Otago, New Zealand
            10:35 to 11:20 Pale green and white rayed band.
                (S46.5 E168.3) - Invercargill, New Zealand
            10:40 Rays started to appear to 40 elev. IBC 3. Cloud clearing.
            10:45 Glow to 60 in SSW. Some rays reaching to at least 60. IBC 3.
                (S46.5 E168.3) - Otatara, Invercargill, New Zealand
            10:45 to 10:55 Rayed arc SSE to SW, elev 20, and ray bundles to 15. Mainly white but with a hint of red. The whole display lasted only 10 minutes.
                (S40.3 E175.4) - Palmerston North, New Zealand
            10:46 Aurora.
                (S35.2 E149.1) - Canberra, Australia
            11:00 Arc and rays still present. Ceased observing.
                (S46.5 E168.3) - Otatara, Invercargill, New Zealand
                      Glow plus vertical rays from S to W with a red area in western most ray.
            11:20 Reduced to dull glow over streetlights.
                (S45.6 E167.6) - Manapouri, New Zealand
            12:00 Bright patches observed through cloud gaps.
            12:30 Cloud had cleared. Unhindered view of a full rayed band. Aurora came out of the sea in SE, rose to about 15 at base of curtain due S, then dropped back down into the sea in SW.
                (S45.9 E170.5) - Dunedin, New Zealand
            13:00 Brilliant arc SE to SW to elev 20. Faint yellowish rays.
            13:30 Arc breaking up into patches. Rays over much of display. IBC 3 to 4.
            13:45 Similar. Display extends well towards the west.
            14:00 Arc rising. Rays brightest at each end. Pinkish in west. Too much activity to record details.
            14:30 Still going strong. More activity than before. Rays reaching almost overhead.
            15:00 Display fading. No rays visible. Bedtime!
                (S45.8 E169.3) - Edievale, West Otago, New Zealand
            13:50 to 15:00 Aurora S to SW. Rays up to 20 elev. Rayed arc at its best. Mainly white in colour.
                (S40.3 E175.4) - Palmerston North, New Zealand

Nov 14 9:00 Glow suspected.
                (S45.8 E169.3) - Edievale, West Otago, New Zealand
            9:26 to 10:37 Pale green and pale red rayed band and diffuse glow.
                (S46.5 E168.3) - Invercargill, New Zealand
            9:15 Noticed strong glow in south while observing comet Giacobini-Zinner.
                (S45.1 E171.0) - Oamaru, North Otago, New Zealand
            9:15 Suspect glow in lingering twilight.
            9:30 Bigger glow. Some rays appearing.
                (S44.3 E171.3) - Timaru, New Zealand
            9:30 Glow had extended in size and wide rays extending up to SCP.
                (S45.1 E171.0) - Oamaru, North Otago, New Zealand
            9:40 Glow.
                (S45.9 E169.3) - Tapanui, West Otago, New Zealand
                      Glow az 110 to 240, to 40 elev. IBC 2.
                (S46.5 E168.3) - Otatara, Invercargill, New Zealand
            9:45 Lots of rays. Very active.
                (S44.3 E171.3) - Timaru, New Zealand
            9:50 Ray bundle at az 140 to 40 elev. Lasted 2 minutes.
            10:00 Ceased observing.
                (S46.5 E168.3) - Otatara, Invercargill, New Zealand
                      Glow reduced in size, with a reddish colour and green mixed in.
                (S45.1 E171.0) - Oamaru, North Otago, New Zealand
                      Quiet glow.
            10:15 Rayed band appeared.
                (S44.3 E171.3) - Timaru, New Zealand
            10:20 Glow with rays.
                (S45.8 E169.3) - Heriot, West Otago, New Zealand
            10:30 Patches and skyglow. Becoming quiet.
                (S44.3 E171.3) - Timaru, New Zealand
            12:30 White glow and rays in south. Forms fading quickly to be replaced by others. Pulsating. Rays moving sideways, south to east. IBC 3.
                (S45.3 E169.4) - Alexandra, Central Otago, New Zealand
            13:45 Arc SE to SW. IBC 2 to 3. Rays reaching towards zenith. Bright ray through Southern Cross. Bright greenish ray bundle in SW. Little movement. Rays slowly moving along arc from SW to SE.
            14:15 Display now fading. No rays visible. Glow in SE still at IBC 2. Ceased observing.
                (S45.8 E169.3) - Edievale, West Otago, New Zealand

Nov 15 10:30 Faint isolated irregularly shaped patch of whitish auroral light at az 190 and elev about 50. A few degrees wide above Southern Cross. Rapid changes in shape but at first were not certain it was auroral in nature.
            10:45 Very faint diagonal whitish streaks appeared in the area around the LMC and SMC between az 170 to 180 and elev 50 to 80. These lasted about 1 minute. No other forms visible around the horizon.
            10:50 The patch moved rapidly eastwards to near the LMC then formed an irregular ring; almost heart-shaped, at az 170 and elev 60. Then quickly clouded over. A most unusual aurora. IBC 1.
                (S41.5 E147.2) - Norwood, Tasmania, Australia

Nov 16 16:00 to 17:00 (During Leonids meteor shower watch.) Whitish homogeneous glow E to SW up to elev 30. IBC 1. (Horizon and SW to W sky obstructed at both sites; meteor shower target of observations.) IBC 1.
                (S41.5 E147.2) - Norwood, Tasmania, Australia
                (S41.5 E147.2) - St Leonards, Tasmania, Australia

Nov 18 16:30 to 18:00 (During Leonids meteor shower watch.) Homogeneous whitish glow NE to S (rest of sky obscured by cloud), nearly to zenith. IBC 2. Flickering and flaming. The aurora was so far east that it really did look like a dawn glow (the origin of the name "aurora"). The aurora was eventually overwhelmed by dawn. Once again, attention was focussed on meteors!
                (S41.5 E147.2) - St Leonards, Tasmania, Australia

Nov 21 10:15 Bright white glow S to SW.
            12:30 Same.
                (S46.4 E169.8) - Otekura, South Otago, New Zealand