This strange phenomenon was again observed at low latitudes


First observed in 2015, the luminous phenomenon Steve looks just like a polar aurora, although the physics behind it are not the same. On the night of August 7-8, when a solar storm hit Earth, this strange light streak appeared again, this time in southern Canada!

You will also be interested

[EN VIDÉO] Northern lights and australia: how are they formed?
Thanks to Adrien Mauduit, let yourself be carried away by the contemplation of these superb polar auroras that appear at high latitudes, drawing immense scrolls in motion, according to the solar wind.

The origin of this phenomenon is not yet known, although it has been suspected since its first documentation in 2017. On the night of August 7-8, a strange luminous celestial apparition was observed in southern Canada. She gate the name of steve phenomenonfor Strong improvement in the rate of thermal emission. This recently known phenomenon only occurs when solar storms hit the Earth.

in any case, the solar winds brought by such storms contain several charged particles at the top power. They would therefore be at the origin of Steve. And it is these solar winds that are at the origin of the polar auroraswhose color corresponds to the elements of theatmosphere which are ionized during their interactions with charged particles.

Steve appears in the subaural areas

However, in Steve’s case, the physicist differs: the latter always appears when solar stormsbut after the dawn a latitudes much lower than where they occur, called subaural zones. “Steve lasted about 40 minutes, appearing as the northern auroras quieted down”wrote photographer Alan Dyer, who captured the phenomenon.

Hence, its origin is elsewhere. It consists of a long purple stripe accompanied – or not – by a kind of green palisade that disappears in a few minutes. The light purple as it can last over an hour. Scientists think Steve came from high-speed collisions speed between the charged particles in theionosphere. The result: gas hot ionized, called plasma. At least for the purple part. Green light, on the other hand, would result from turbulence in this plasma, which would locally ionize the atoms fromoxygen.

Interested in what you just read?



Leave a Comment