Science Steve The Weird 'Aurora' Is Not What We Thought It Was

Discussion in 'Headline News' started by tom_mai78101, Aug 21, 2018.

  1. tom_mai78101

    tom_mai78101 The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host Staff Member

    +964 / 4 / -1
    Well, well, well. Looks like the jig is up. The "new kind of aurora" discovered earlier this year, and subsequently named "STEVE" (if that is even its real name) has been rumbled. It seems Steve isn't an aurora after all.

    But that doesn't mean the game is over. Because Steve's actual identity may be even more interesting. Physicists have concluded that the erstwhile aurora is in fact an entirely new celestial phenomenon.

    Steve - which manifests as gorgeous glowing purple ribbons across the sky - has been around for a few decades now, known to photographers and aurora chasers, but was only brought to the attention of scientists in 2016.

    It had been nicknamed Steve by the Alberta Aurora Chasers, which scientists upheld when they officially named it Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement (STEVE).

    Earlier this year, researchers announced that the purple and white streamers, while very different from the shimmering green auroral curtains, were indeed a new kind of aurora.

    But the light produced by Steve isn't the same as the light produced by an aurora, so a new team of researchers worked on figuring out Steve's mechanism by studying a Steve event from March 2008.

    Read more here. (Science Alert)

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