Welcome to the Aurora and Solar Section of the RASNZ

This a group of people interested in the Aurora Australis and the Sun. As well as encouraging their observation, the Section seeks to record these observations and publish them so there is a permanent database.

A monthly Newsletter is published summarising auroral and solar observations. About once a year a Circular is produced detailing these observations.

Here is some information on how to observe and record the Aurora and the Sun. All reports received will be acknowledged with a pdf copy of the Section's Newsletter containing their report.

Auroral Observations

To report an Aurora please click here --> Report an Aurora

Solar Observations

NOTE: THE SUN SHOULD NEVER BE LOOKED AT DIRECTLY. IF YOU DO YOU WILL MOSTLY LIKELY SUFFER PERMANENT EYE DAMAGE. TO OBSERVE SUNSPOTS, EITHER PROJECT THE SUN'S IMAGE ONTO A WHITE CARD OR, FIT A PROPER SOLAR FILTER OVER THE FRONT OF THE TELESCOPE.

Sunspots are more easily seen in white light; that is, not through 'solar telescopes' which see in the red Hydrogen-alpha light.

There are six groups of spots in this image. The number of spots in each group are given in parentheses. 1 (5), 2(4), 3(2), 4(9), 5(9), 6(1).

They would be reported as: number of groups (g) = 6, number of spots (f) = 30, Wolf number (w) = 10x6 + 30 = 90.

Date and Time should be reported in UT (Universal Time) to the nearest minute. If you choose to use New Zealand or other time, please note what it is (including whether or not it is daylight time).

Groups 1,2 and 3 are on one side of the Sun's equator, and 4, 5 and 6 on the other side. If you know which is south and which is north then this information can be included. The ragged lighter areas are 'faculae'. The speckled appearance known as 'granulation' is a test of your seeing conditions. If you can see it then conditions are good to excellent.

To report a month's Sunspot count click here --> Report your Solar Observations

More information may be obtained by contacting the Director; Bob Evans.

Should you wish to join the Section, the annual subscription is $30 which helps defray costs of the publications, and allows you to receive all publications.

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