Aurora Forecast 3D

249 reviews
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About this app

The Aurora Forecast 3D is a tool to track down where the aurora is located in the sky from any location on planet. It renders Earth in 3D with rotation and scaling at your fingertips. You can select locations and make your own ground - station list. The Sun illuminates the globe as it updates in near real-time. The short term forecasts are up to +6 hours, while the long term forecasts are up to 3 days ahead in time. They are updated when the app is active and connected to internet.

An Aurora Compass is included that shows where the auroral oval [1,2], the Moon and the Sun are located as you look up at the sky from your location. The phase and age of the Moon is also visualized in the compass. By zooming out in the 3D view port, satellites, stars and planets appear in their orbits [3] around the Sun.

- 3D view port of Earth.
- Solar illumination of the Earth and the Moon.
- Aurora oval size and location in real time.
- Day side location of the red Cusp.
- Forecasts based on predicted Kp index estimated by the Space Weather Prediction Centre (NOAA-SWPC).
- Includes a 2.4 million star map [4].
- City light texture [5].
- Earth, Sun and Moon textures [6,7].
- Sky view module to track planets and stars [8].
- 3-day space weather condition forecast as news ticker.
- Two-Line Element (TLE) satellite orbit calculations [9].
- Skyview navigation.
- 3D Laser Star pointer to identify star signs.
- Sounding rocket trajectories.
- Sun and Moon daily elevation plots with rise and set time.
- Epoch selection for magnetic pole position [10]
- Ovals based on polar orbiting satellites data [11]
- Target web links added to satellites, stars, planets and position.
- All-sky camera links to the Boreal Aurora Camera Constellation (BACC).
- Sky color animation [12,13].
- Zhang and Paxton ovals added [14]
- Geomagnetic storm push notifications.
- Youtube demonstration.

[1] Sigernes F., M. Dyrland, P. Brekke, S. Chernouss, D.A. Lorentzen, K. Oksavik, and C.S. Deehr, Two methods to forecast auroral displays, Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate (SWSC), Vol. 1, No. 1, A03, DOI:10.1051/swsc/2011003, 2011.

[2] Starkov G. V., Mathematical model of the auroral boundaries, Geomagnetism and Aeronomy, 34 (3), 331-336, 1994.

[3] P. Schlyter, How to compute planetary positions,, Stockholm, Sweden.

[4] Bridgman, T. and Wright, E., The Tycho Catalog Sky map- Version 2.0, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio,, January 26, 2009.

[5] The Visible Earth catalog,, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, April-October, 2012.

[6] T. Patterson, Natural Earth III - Texture Maps,, October 1, 2016.

[7] Nexus - Planet Textures,, January 4, 2013.

[8] Hoffleit, D. and Warren, Jr., W.H., The Bright Star Catalog, 5th Revised Edition (Preliminary Version), Astronomical Data Center, NSSDC/ADC, 1991.

[9] Vallado, David A., Paul Crawford, Richard Hujsak, and T.S. Kelso, Revisiting Spacetrack Report #3, AIAA/AAS-2006-6753,, 2006.

[10] Tsyganenko, N.A., Secular drift of the auroral ovals: How fast do they actually move?, Geophysical Research Letters, 46, 3017-3023, 2019.

[11] M. J. Breedveld, Predicting the Auroral Oval Boundaries by Means of Polar Operational Environmental Satellite Particle Precipitation Data, Master thesis, Department of Physics and Technology, Faculty of Science and Technology, The Arctic University of Norway, June 2020.

[12] Perez, R., J,M. Seals and B. Smith, An all-weather model for sky illuminance distribution, Solar Energy, 1993.

[13] Preetham, A.J, P. Shirley and B. Smith, A practical model for daylight Computer Graphics, (SIGGRAPH 99 Proceedings), 91-100, 1999.

[14] Zhang Y., and L. J. Paxton, An empirical Kp-dependent global auroral model based on TIMED/GUVI data, J. Atm. Solar-Terr. Phys., 70, 1231-1242, 2008.
Updated on
Dec 28, 2023

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Ratings and reviews

232 reviews
John Pottle
November 2, 2021
This app is visually very appealing, has some great features, and is pretty easy to use once you get used to it. The help feature and video are pretty good, but might need to be updated for the current version. For example, I can see how to add a station, but not edit the name. I see a few other things on the globe display, but don't see an explanation of what they are (yellow map pin?). I look forward to seeing if the aurora visibility indication is accurate! Cool app.
30 people found this review helpful
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Fred Sigernes
June 1, 2023
Thanks for feedback. To edit the station name, Hit the underlines "Name" link. That opens the text box for edit. Hit Enter key to change.
william ingram jr
May 10, 2024
The map is very sensitive to finger touch as in if you tried to slide the timer you end up sliding the world More times than not! I've also found it not to be very accurate.
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Rostam Zandi
December 7, 2021
Latest update with the slider at the bottom is really buggy. (Annoying) The slider keeps snapping back. As well as rotating the globe every time you try to slide the timeline. When you finally got the time correct on the slider when pushing the home icon to set back your position it snaps back to 00:00h... At the moment not usable, looking forward to the next update.
2 people found this review helpful
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Fred Sigernes
June 1, 2023
I will look into it. Thanks for feedback.

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