I usually use JPEG when I take photographs. It's not something I've thought about, it's just what my camera does and sites like blogger and facebook like it. But the research I've done so far on photographing the Northern Lights seems fairly consistent in telling me to use RAW. The memory card I've ordered can do this, so I do have the option. My conundrum is whether or not I'll know what to do with it once I've taken the photographs. I don't want to have amazing photographs and not be able to download them to any websites or even worse, be able to get them off my camera and onto my laptop.
I'll have to try to speak to someone in the photography department at school and get some advice.