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.
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.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.