MagIE Introduction

The Magnetometer Network of Ireland (MagIE) is a network of Irish geomagnetic observatories, founded in 2012 by DIAS and TCD School of Physics, to complement Met Eireann’s existing Valentia observatory. The goal of the network is to improve our understanding of geomagnetic storms and subsurface current systems in Ireland. The network currently consists of magnetometer observatories in Birr, Armagh and Valentia. The magnetometers at each site measure the magnetic field strength of the Earth. Rapid variations in geomagnetic field strength can be used to identify the presence of geomagnetic storms. Each site calculates geomagnetic and geoelectric (where possible) field strengths via the third generation Long-Period Magnetotelluric Instrument (LEMI-417M). Each instrument is composed of a fluxgate magnetometer, a set of electrodes, a recording unit and a GPS unit for time-stamping.

Using the readings from the LEMI-417M instruments, the K-indices can be calculated to measure local disturbances in Earth’s Magnetic Field strength. Large K-values  indicate that the northern lights (aurora borealis) have a high probability of being visible from Ireland. The K-indices are calculated using the FMI method.

Live K-indices

K-indices are a measure of the disturbance of geomagnetic field strength. A k-value of greater than 5 indicates that a geomagnetic storm is in progress. Please visit the data section for more on k-indices and aurora forecasts.

For more information, feel free to contact us.