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The New Mexico Consortium (NMC) announced the aurora monitoring project, Aurorasaurus, has been awarded support by the Integrated NSF Support Promoting Interdisciplinary Research and Education (INSPIRE) program.
Aurorasaurus.org provides a real-time Google map of auroral visibility from multiple sources: user contributions, ﬁltered social media Tweets, weather, and auroral oval predictions from the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center space-based data. Dr. Elizabeth MacDonald, an NMC Affiliate Research Scientist and LANL Staff Scientist, leads this citizen science research project in collaboration with Drs. Michelle Hall and Andrea Tapia of Science Education Solutions and Pennsylvania State University, respectively.
According to MacDonald, accurately predicting space weather is a space physics top goal. On Oct. 24, 2011, a geomagnetic storm raged across Europe and the US. Arrival forecasts were off by eight hours, predicted a much weaker storm, and did not anticipate the visible red emissions observed.
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