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It's that time. We're approaching Solar Maximum and chances of seeing the Aurora Borealis / Northern Lights are increasing worldwide.
Seeing the aurora is usually difficult, due to a lack of accurate information specific for your location. Add poor locations, light polluted skies, clouds and sometimes only a 30 min window of opportunity..., it can be like finding a needle in a haystack.
Many think Auroras are limited to the Arctic. But, unless you live at the equator (and it's even seen there occasionally), you too can see it if you're in the right place at the right time.
The aurora monitor is a technology I've been using for a long time to take photographs of the aurora (attached). I've updated this technology for Thingiverse and made it a stand alone Arduino based unit which you setup for your location.
An RGB Led indicates if there's an aurora active for your location with 30-60min advance warning. The strength of the storm is indicated by the auroral color of the Led. Accuracy is around 95%.
Detailed information can be Tweeted too. Here's the feed for my location: https://twitter.com/AuroraAdec)
The Inukshuk was created from a 2D grayscale image using OmNomNom Creator: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:24639
This was printed on a Tom using Jetty Accelerated Firmware at 100mm/s: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:17855
This project is a very easy build, requiring only basic soldering skills, network setup and arduino skills.
Arduino capable of Wifi or Ethernet, these ones I've tested:
10mm RGB Common Anode LED, I used this:
Resistor x 3, if using the above LED, then 100 Ohm x 2, 150 Ohm (for red)
Miscellaneous: A strip of header pins, wire, heat shrink or tape
Source code can be found here: https://github.com/jetty840/AuroraMonitor
Viewing tips for the Aurora can be found in the attached instructions.
Aurora Monitor V1 by jetty is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution - Non-Commercial license.
So what's this mean?
We're sure jetty would love to see what you've printed - take a photo and share it on Thingiverse as a Make.
To post a Make simply visit this Thing again and click I Made One to start uploading your photo. You can also download the Thingiverse Mobile app (available via Google Play and Apple App Store) to take a photo and upload your Make right from the app!