Bz reading is -1.16. Bz is negative. Time: 2019-04-23 16:05:00.000 UTC
Moon is waning
The All Sky Camera
The skycam is an automatic camera designed to try and catch any auroral displays. It has a wide-angle lens and is tipped slightly towards the southern horizon. The suburban location is quite challenging, and the surrounding city stops us from getting views of low-horizon aurora.
The camera hardware is a ZWO Company, ASI 120 MC-S colour imager, fitted with a 4mm CCD camera lens. This takes wide angle views of about 130 degrees. This type of camera is normally attached to the eyepiece of a telescope, and doesn't look like your usual DSLR. The camera is powered over USB and is quite small. Data is transferred to a mini-desktop computer.
The camera uses SharpCap imaging software with customised python scripts to manage the image capture and upload. Images are taken every minute and a full day of recording occupies about 3 gigs of disc space.
The main dashboard at Dunedin Aurora is a series of small gauges. The top two horizontal gauges are from the Main and Backup magnetometers and are designed to show geomagnetic activity over the last ten minutes. The gauges automatically calibrate themselves to conditions, so that normal background fluctuations should mostly fall into the "green" with occasional spikes into the "orange". These two gauges are sensitive to transient blips, so activity should always be confirmed over several refreshes of the gauge
The next gauge is local geomagnetic activity over the last 24 hours. This gauge is scaled and colour coded in terms of the average local background level. The hourly time-scale gives better resolution than the K-Index. Values over 2-3 times background indicated disturbed geomagnetic conditions.
The activity gauges are best read in terms of trends over time.
The last part of the dashboard is live reading of Bz from the DISCOVR satellite and a moon-phase clock. For an explanation of what Bz refers to, click here. When Bz has negative values, the chances of seeing an aurora are much higher.
The moon clock gives a dynamic indication of the current lunar phase.