It’s S T E V E !
The Aurora Named STEVE
Published on Mar 14, 2018
For the first time, scientists have ground and satellite views of STEVE (short for Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement), a thin purple ribbon of light. Scientists have now learned, despite its ordinary name, that STEVE may be an extraordinary puzzle piece in painting a better picture of how Earth’s magnetic fields function and interact with charged particles in space. The Aurorasaurus team, led by Liz MacDonald, a space scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, conferred to determine the identity of this mysterious phenomenon. MacDonald and her colleague Eric Donovan at the University of Calgary in Canada talked with the amateur photographers from the Alberta Aurora Chasers, the people who first captured images of STEVE. Other collaborators on this work are: the University of Calgary, New Mexico Consortium, Boston University, Lancaster University, Athabasca University, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the Alberta Aurora Chasers Facebook group. Watch this video on the NASA Goddard YouTube channel. Music credit: Bright Patterns by Gregg Lehrman, John Christopher Nye Complete transcript available. Read more: www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/… This video is public domain and along with other supporting visualizations can be downloaded from the Scientific Visualization Studio at: svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/12865 Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Genna Duberstein
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From another reference for which I’ve no linkages…
Unlike other aurora, this light appears as a wavering ‘picket fence’ of purple tinged with green, often occurring at lower latitudes than most of the northern lights. Observers have seen the light stick around for between 20 minutes to an hour before vanishing. The discussion among enthusiasts zoomed in on something called a proton aurora, which although not typically considered to be visible were thought to explain some of Steve’s odd characteristics.
It turns out that STEVE is a SAID – or a sub auroral ion drift. Previously described as polarisation jets, SAIDs have been known to astronomers for about forty years. They’re short-lived, supersonic flows of charged particles that form during a certain phase of an auroral substorm. Substorms occur when lines in our planet’s magnetic field suddenly reconfigure, sending showers of high energy charged particles crashing into our atmosphere.
Hey. Been getting into some strange weather / atmospheric / oceanographic / upper mantle type shite. And it certainly is pretty darn strange! Global, too. Bwahahaha hahaha hahahaaaha!
This one’s not very weird, though, so, sorry boudat… be patient eh.
Anomalies rule, baby.