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Meet Steve , the Mysterious Glowing Light in the Canadian Sky

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posted on Mar, 18 2018 @ 11:01 AM
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Steve is a newly discovered atmospheric light phenomenon first documented last year by citizen scientists , although on first appearance Steve looks like an aurora borealis the prominence of purple ribbons of light told Steve's discoverer that this was no ordinary aurora.
Subsequent observations of Steve by professional and amateur astronomers using cameras and ESA's Swarm satellite have yielded new clues to Steve's origin and will be posted in a scientific paper in the near future.

Image of Steve on the left alongside a view of the Milky Way most of us can only dream of.


He often sky gazes until the early hours of the morning to photograph the aurora with his Nikon camera, but this was his first expedition with his children. When a thin purple ribbon of light appeared and starting glowing, Bourassa immediately snapped pictures until the light particles disappeared 20 minutes later. Having watched the northern lights for almost 30 years since he was a teenager, he knew this wasn't an aurora. It was something else.


Why call a light Steve ?
The name was given to the light phenomenon by citizen scientists , the name is taken from the animated film Over the Hedge and references a bush who was given that name to make it less scary.


Video of Steve in action.


Steve is an important discovery because of its location in the sub auroral zone, an area of lower latitude than where most auroras appear that is not well researched. For one, with this discovery, scientists now know there are unknown chemical processes taking place in the sub auroral zone that can lead to this light emission.

Second, Steve consistently appears in the presence of auroras, which usually occur at a higher latitude area called the auroral zone. That means there is something happening in near-Earth space that leads to both an aurora and Steve. Steve might be the only visual clue that exists to show a chemical or physical connection between the higher latitude auroral zone and lower latitude sub auroral zone, said MacDonald.
"Steve can help us understand how the chemical and physical processes in Earth's upper atmosphere can sometimes have local noticeable effects in lower parts of Earth's atmosphere," said MacDonald. "This provides good insight on how Earth's system works as a whole."


Perhaps the biggest surprise about Steve appeared in the satellite data. The data showed that Steve comprises a fast moving stream of extremely hot particles called a sub auroral ion drift, or SAID. Scientists have studied SAIDs since the 1970s but never knew there was an accompanying visual effect. The Swarm satellite recorded information on the charged particles' speeds and temperatures, but does not have an imager aboard.
www.sciencedaily.com...

It's nice that in the 21st century our planet still has surprises to give us.




posted on Mar, 18 2018 @ 11:14 AM
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I think Steve is probably the beginning of the real surprises in store for these next few decades.

As our magnetosphere continues it's decline in strength I'm sure the Aurora's will only become more spectacular.

Only time will tell.



posted on Mar, 18 2018 @ 11:20 AM
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That means there is something happening in near-Earth space that leads to both an aurora and Steve. Steve might be the only visual clue that exists to show a chemical or physical connection between the higher latitude auroral zone and lower latitude sub auroral zone, said MacDonald.

Maybe a rocket launch vapor trail is being ionized (?)



posted on Mar, 18 2018 @ 11:21 AM
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“STEVE is essentially a very narrow, usually very faint, curtain of mauve-colored light south of the primary Aurora – or north, if you're in the Southern Hemisphere – reaching from the eastern horizon to the western horizon," Chris Ratzlaff, one of the aurora chasers who helped to discover STEVE, told IFLScience. "Usually, it’s quite subtle, but it’s been caught a few times quite bright."

very narrow, very faint, usually subtle but sometimes bright. Depends on how long I've been drinking, really... lol

why is everything unfathomable, named steve....



posted on Mar, 18 2018 @ 11:58 AM
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BugOut,... It's a sign of the Geomagnetic Reversal

Watch the ending ...when the pole shift commences Auroras will be seen in unusual places...



posted on Mar, 18 2018 @ 12:25 PM
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a reply to: badw0lf



why is everything unfathomable, named steve....


Good question. It sucks because the one Steve I know well is a real a**hole.



posted on Mar, 18 2018 @ 12:38 PM
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a reply to: gortex

is it just me or did anyone else catch the objects at the 0:30 mark? watch closely...
edit on 18-3-2018 by Thecakeisalie because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 18 2018 @ 12:46 PM
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originally posted by: Bobaganoosh
I think Steve is probably the beginning of the real surprises in store for these next few decades.

As our magnetosphere continues it's decline in strength I'm sure the Aurora's will only become more spectacular.

Only time will tell.


Answer this. I thought the magnetosphere is what keeps solar winds from stripping away our atmosphere. If the magnetic field weakens during a flip in the poles wouldn't that have drastic effects on our atmosphere? Serious question here looking for an informed answer.



posted on Mar, 18 2018 @ 12:49 PM
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originally posted by: Sheye
a reply to: badw0lf



why is everything unfathomable, named steve....


Good question. It sucks because the one Steve I know well is a real a**hole.


I'm a nice guy really...

Oh, I mean, now you know two !



posted on Mar, 18 2018 @ 01:08 PM
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a reply to: gortex

Well, You know something, around 12-14 years ago, maybe a while longer, here we had a massive aurora that went on for hours. It covered a whole region of the sky west to northwest and even to the north at times, and central to the Aurora were prominent streams of red-purply ribbons that bounced around like mad, but in a more confined space that the rest of the aurora, I'll never forget that, everything was so clear...and on a clear night. An aurora is rare enough here, and mostly vague, but that night was really different. the OP picture so looks like it, except we had much more.



posted on Mar, 18 2018 @ 01:08 PM
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a reply to: gortex

Interesting that Steve appears to be a vortex of some sort...that other lights or objects appear to be coming out from, and into...



posted on Mar, 18 2018 @ 01:35 PM
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a reply to: smurfy

I envy your luck mate , never had the opportunity to see an aurora even though on rare occasions they are visible from my neck of the woods they seem to coincide with cloud and rain.


Perhaps one day.



posted on Mar, 18 2018 @ 01:42 PM
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That picture is so beautiful


What a lucky shot... the universe is amazing. Pictures like this always put in perspective the beauty and amazement if nature.

Thanks for posting, looks gorgeous on my 25" BENQ

edit on 18-3-2018 by Elementalist because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 18 2018 @ 02:52 PM
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originally posted by: Thecakeisalie
a reply to: gortex

is it just me or did anyone else catch the objects at the 0:30 mark? watch closely...


Those are satellite flares, assuming we are looking at the same objects.



posted on Mar, 18 2018 @ 03:23 PM
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uhhhh this is a bit omnious, what is happening with your magnetosphere?



posted on Mar, 18 2018 @ 04:03 PM
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posted on Mar, 18 2018 @ 05:56 PM
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a reply to: gortex

We are getting Steve here too.. Western Isles (Scotland). Its like northern lights that emit from a singular point and form an arch over the sky. This is a new phenomena and first seen in US (I think) Oftern here is more from the east than the north.


Funny the first time I saw Steve they where doing some kind of navel exercise. Its military. You dont just get new phenomena appearing in the sky.




posted on Mar, 18 2018 @ 07:01 PM
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a reply to: Bobaganoosh

is this bad?!
cause i think it will just mess with airplane compasses a bit



posted on Mar, 18 2018 @ 07:12 PM
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originally posted by: gortex
Steve is a newly discovered atmospheric light phenomenon first documented last year by citizen scientists


Actually it's been known about for at least a couple of years more. It's just that it used to be called a "proton arc" until it was determined that it had nothing whatsoever to do with protons, so they called it "Steve" instead.


Astronomy Picture of the Day
2015 August 3

A Proton Arc Over Lake Superior

Source: NASA APOD

Personally I suspect that this is not a new phenomena at all (as some have suggested on this thread), and it's always been around, but it's fairly rare, and perhaps was not noticed until recently, or was just thought to have been a normal aurora by those who saw it and did not know better. Newly discovered does not necessarily mean it was not around before recently!

Edit to add: Here is a paperabout a proton arc that was observed in 2005, and even mentions another observed in 2002. I'm sure with a bit more searching more references to the phenomena can be found!

Edit to further add: After a cursory scan through the paper mentioned above, it appears that the "proton arcs" were known about at least as far back as 1978:


This phenomenon was called ’detached proton arc’. In the
past, the events, which were called the detached arc, were reported during the ISIS 2 mission as phenomena due to electron precipitation at the dusk-evening sector at subauroral latitudes (Anger et al., 1978;Moshupi et al., 1979)

Source: JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH


edit on 18-3-2018 by FireballStorm because: (no reason given)

edit on 18-3-2018 by FireballStorm because: (no reason given)

edit on 18-3-2018 by FireballStorm because: (no reason given)

edit on 18-3-2018 by FireballStorm because: text formating



posted on Mar, 18 2018 @ 08:10 PM
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a reply to: gortex

Since we are in the Milky Way , how do we get such a good image of the Milky way like we are looking at it from outside the galaxy?




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