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Northern lights and north star. STEVE?

Steve Bellavia caught this unusual aurora last night, pointing directly to the North Star. Could it be the newly identified Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement, aka STEVE?

Steve Bellavia wrote on June 13, 2018:

I was at the dark sky site, Cherry Springs State Park, Pennsylvania, last night and got to see a very unusual northern lights display! It was a spike, pointing directly at Polaris, the North Star.

Could it be a sighting the recently studied phenomenon called a Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement – also known as STEVE – which is the nickname originally given to this light by aurora watchers? The Atlantic described the phenomenon this way:

This new feature differs from the long-studied “classical” aurora in several ways. It can be seen from much closer to the equator than its more famous twin, and it emanates from a spot twice as high in the sky. It was also first described and studied not by cultivated researchers – like those who coined the moniker aurora borealis – but by devoted amateurs. They were among the first to photograph the ethereal streak of purple light, and they were the first to give it a name.

Read more from NASA: The Aurora Named STEVE

By the way, Steve Bellavia – no relation to the sky STEVE- also sent a short timelapse, which is below:

Bottom line: A June 2018 photo of northern lights pointing to the north star, possibly STEVE.

Source: New science in plain sight: Citizen scientists lead to the discovery of optical structure in the upper atmosphere

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Deborah Byrd

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