World News
IN SHORT
Saturday, April 21, 2018

Channels
frontpage
world
entertainment
odd news
politics
science
technology
health
sports
business

Latest
Overview
world
entertainment
odd news
politics
science
technology
health
sports
business
AD
'Steve' is the name of a new kind of aurora, discovered thanks to citizen scientists
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
"Steve" may be ordinary as it comes with aurora names, but one called exactly that certainly has an extraordinary story. The streaks of purple light which appeared in the sky over Regina, Canada, were the source of curiosity for locals who hadn't seen anything quite like it before.  SEE ALSO: Don't believe the hype about the coming solar storm That wonder over "Steve" led to a project called Aurorasaurus, where locals, or should we say citizen scientists, shared their findings on the mysterious lights. Between 2015 to 2016, there were 30 reports submitted to the project, overlooked by scientists from NASA and the University of Calgary. Those sightings became the subject of a peer-reviewed paper, published this week in the journal Scientific Advances. It was indeed, unlike any other aurora. It is, in fact, a new kind of aurora, appearing like a line with a beginning and end, as opposed to a typically oval shape like the others. Steve is also purple, with green features resembling a picket fence, unlike those signature greens, blues and reds of a regular aurora.  Like other auroras, Steve is created by charged particles from the sun, colliding with the magnetic fields around our Earth to generate a stunning light display. As noted by NASA, the difference with Steve is in the details. It travels along different magnetic field lines, and appears at lower latitudes closer to the equator.  Steve is also associated with something called the "subauroral ion drift," a stream of fast moving, extremely hot particles which scientists have been studying since the 1970s, but didn't know that it came with accompanying visual effect.  While Steve was just a name, it now stands for Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement. Scientists hope to learn more about it in future, but the phenomena only lasts up to an hour in an area. At least there are photos. Picture of Steve taken at Lake Minnewanka.Image: Paulo Fedozzi Steve! Thank you to @TweetAurora, @sciencemagazine, @NASA, AAC & the rest of the scientific community for the recognition and for using my shots to better explain this strange phenomenon! #Steve #northernlights #auroraborealis https://t.co/XRKwlgq0Yr pic.twitter.com/1etwBKuoXr — Andy Witteman (@CNLastro) March 15, 2018 A photo from 2007 of what we called a proton arc , sub auroral arc, or sub auroral ion drift, when nobody cared what it was. Apparently it is now a newly discovered thing called #STEVE pic.twitter.com/u1Y1OBDZut — Pat Boomer (@ABfoothillsWX) March 14, 2018 WATCH: Inspired by slug slime, this surgical glue is strong enough to patch up a beating heart read more
Disclaimer: Chances are that this post was requested by an advertiser.

(Possibly) Related news

More in science