Aurorasaurus Project Featured in WIRED Magazine
Predicting when and where aurora, or northern lights, will be visible is a difficult thing for scientists to do. The ACE satellite measures the strength of the solar wind as it heads toward Earth. Scientists get about an hour notice, and measuring the accuracy of these predictions are not easy. So, scientists have turned to Twitter for help. Space scientist Elizabeth MacDonald of the Goddard Space Flight Center and the New Mexico Consortium created the Aurorasaurus website in order to use tweets around the globe to provide ground truth checks on aurora visibility forecasts.
Aurorasaurus gathers tweets on aurora that have geolocation data and maps them in real time. Interestingly, results are showing that where people are actually seeing aurora does not necessarily match up with the aurora oval that is predicted. So, scientists are now able to use the data from Aurorasaurus to improve the model to more accurately predict the aurora forecast.
To read the entire article see: The 'Aurorasurus' Maps This Year's Spectacular Auroras.