What is STEVE, and how is it different from the aurora?

The aurora might be the most famous atmospheric phenomenon in our night sky, but it certainly isn’t the only one. If you’ve not yet been introduced, we’d love you to meet STEVE. 

STEVE — Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement —  is an aurora-like glow that often accompanies the northern lights, yet is a distinct phenomenon, according to the American Geophysical Union (AGU). STEVE was discovered between 2015 and 2016, not by professional astronomers or physicists, but by citizen scientists in Canada chasing the aurora, according to the first study published on STEVE in Science Advances in 2018.


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