Sunday, August 26, 2018

Eerie Sky Glow 'Completely Unknown' to Science

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Eerie Sky Glow 'Completely Unknown' to Science
The mysterious ribbon of atmospheric light known as STEVE slashes through the sky over British Columbia, Canada, on April 10, 2018. According to a new study, STEVE is not an aurora (visible here in the right corner of the horizon) but something completely new to science.

     Late at night on July 25, 2016, a thin river of purple light slashed through the skies of northern Canada in an arc that seemed to stretch hundreds of miles into space. It was a magnificent, mysterious, borderline-miraculous sight, and the group of citizen skywatchers who witnessed it decided to give the phenomenon a fittingly majestic name: "Steve."
By Brandon Specktor
Live Science
8-21-18

Given its coincidence with the northern lights, Steve was just thought to be part of the aurora — the shimmering sheets of nighttime color that appear in the sky when charged plasma particles streak out of the sun, sail across space on solar winds and jolt down Earth's magnetic field toward the planet's poles. However, a new study published today (Aug. 20) in the journal Geophysical Research Letters suggests that such a simple explanation might not apply.

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