locations for aurora detection

Currently in Valdez and Anchorage. Expanding soon to Fairbanks.

The aurora detection and notification service is currently deployed in Anchorage, Alaska, and Valdez, Alaska. While each of these cities currently only have one camera system deployed to detect the aurora, the Aurora team is looking to expand. Expanding with additional camera system deployments will provide increased coverage of the sky.

The team is looking for aurora enthusiasts that have a physical location to deploy additional camera systems to detect the aurora. The location must have standard 110v power, access to high speed Internet via Wifi, and a wide unobstructed view of the sky. If you would like the Aurora detection and notification system to be deployed in your area, contact us to request a new location.

Current and Future Cities with Coverage

locations of aurora cams in alaska including Valdez, Anchorage and McCarthy

Anchorage, Alaska

The deployment of the first camera system to detect the aurora in Anchorage is located in the north part of downtown. Since Anchorage is surrounded by water to the the west and north, there is not much light pollution beyond a few city lights at the edge of Anchorage's city limits.

map of aurora camera at Geeks in the Woods, Valdez, Alaska
Anchorage Northeast cam
  • First camera system deployment in Anchorage. Located at 721 West 1st Ave.
  • Provides earliest detection of aurora for all viewers throughout Anchorage.
  • Very little light pollution besides a few lights North from the port and minimal lights Northeast from a few houses in Government Hill .
  • When the aurora is active in Anchorage, a lot of people go to Kincaid park which is much further south west and has lots of light pollution looking both north and east created by the international airport and the dense lighting downtown.

Valdez, Alaska

The first camera system to detect the aurora was deployed in Valdez, Alaska, at the Geeks in the Woods property. The Aurora team has been perfecting the image recognition technology and refining the notification thresholds with the system for community members in Valdez. This location in Valdez provides coverage from downtown Valdez to mile 15 on the Richardson Highway.

map of aurora camera at Geeks in the Woods, Valdez, Alaska
Valdez West cam
  • The weather patterns across Robe Lake (center of frame) are very active with sun, wind, and snow - creating beauty on the surface of the lake.
  • When the aurora is active, it first is visible west of the Geeks in the Woods property as it comes down the valley carved by the Valdez glacier on the opposite side of the lake.
Valdez Northwest cam
  • Since the ridge (Hogsback) on the north side of Robe Lake (right side of frame) continues beyond 2500 feet of elevation, the active auroras are generally seen on the north west side of the ridge.
  • The weather moving through the valley that was carved out from Valdez glacier beyond the lake and west of Hogsback (ridge in right of frame) creates dynamic timelapses.
Valdez Northeast cam
  • Since Hogsback is directly North from the Geeks in the Woods property, this cam faces northeast following the Hogsback ridge as its elevation increases to the summit.
  • When the aurora is active, this location provides an intimate view as the aurora covers the dynamic ridge line.
  • As winter approaches, watch the snow line move down the mountains, and as summer approaches, watch the vibrant green vegetation move up the mountains, taking over the snow.

Future Deployments

Jan 2019 Additional Anchorage cams

While we only have one camera system currently deployed in Anchorage for detection of the aurora, we will be deploying at least one more additional camera deployment in Anchorage to provide additional coverage. The second camera deployment will be in the upper part of Hillside.

Q3 2019 New Fairbanks cams

We are currently looking for locations to deploy camera systems in Fairbanks. Ideally we would prefer to have at least two: one north of downtown Fairbanks and a second north west of Fairbanks near Chena Hot Springs.

Q3 2019 McCarthy

Two cameras will be deployed in Kennicott up the Bonanza Mine trail in Spring 2019, and will provide coverage to the McCarthy and Kennicott areas.