New Years Eve Aurora Borealis

After the Christmas Full Moon, our beloved Sun has unleashed a CME (coronal mass ejection) towards Earth on December 28th, and those charged particles are predicted to reach us on the 31st (NOAA predicts G3-Strong Geomagnetic Storm).  Below is the snap-shot of the past and forecasted geomagnetic activity from Natural Resources Canada as provided at 9:22pm EST.

Geomagnetic Activity Review and Forecast 31Dec2015

Geomagnetic Activity Review and Forecast 31Dec2015 –

Based on their prediction model the peak of the activity will happen the night of 30th to 31st.  Therefore if you live outside of the city and in northern latitudes (north of 50 degrees latitude) you may be surprised by a wonderful light show tonight and tomorrow. Because Earth magnetic field is “springy” it will “ring” for some time and auroras should be present until New Year’s Eve.

Other effects that you may notice is larger GPS errors or longer time to get a “lock”.  Mobile phones won’t be affected by this type of storm.  You need a snow storm to affect your mobile phone signal.  Snow flakes are just the right size and their density in the sky to scatter the signals in the frequency range used by mobile phones.

2015 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,200 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 37 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Christmas 2015 Full Moon


After sneaking the kids’ gifts under the tree while they were sound asleep, I decided to see if the Christmas 2015 Full Moon was visible.

A thin cloud lightly obscured the view, and I wasn`t sure if the early morning sky would yield any better weather.  A few quick shots at 17 and 85mm on the Canon EFS lens to record the event as the next Christmas full Moon will be in roughly 30 years.

Christmas Full Moon of 2015


If you get up early on Christmas morning, don’t open your presents, or shake that box right away.  Head towards the window and glance west at the sky.  There over the horizon you’ll see the last full Moon of 2015.

The last time that full Moon happened on December 25th was 1977.  Disco was all the rage and “Saturday Night Fever” starring John Travolta, premiered in NYC.  So yeah, a long time ago…

I’m guessing with the full Moon to light the way, Rudolf might get a bit of a rest this year. 🙂