STEVE is an acronym for Promote strong thermal emission speedand was identified in 2016. This type of rendering usually consists of creating a relatively thick and broad band of light, usually white, purple or green. Despite its obvious resemblance to the aurora borealis, STEVE is a separate topic for astronomers.
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Recently, they had the opportunity to observe this phenomenon again. It’s all because of coronal mass ejection. The plasma from our star accelerated at more than 20,000 kilometers per hour and reached the Earth’s magnetosphere and ionosphere. There, there was an interaction between the ionized gas and Earth’s air, causing “fireworks” of light.
However, while the aurora borealis consist of continuous motions of such colored streaks, in this case we are talking about an almost completely constant phenomenon. It should also be noted that when STEVE appears in the sky, it may also be accompanied by streaks of green light. However, while the main symptom can last up to an hour, these streaks usually disappear after about 30 seconds.
Although STEVE was formed on similar principles as the Northern Lights, they are a separate phenomenon
Last week’s disturbances were caused by the formation of a giant crater on the surface of the sun. Its diameter was up to 20 times that of our planet, so it should come as no surprise that this object gave off such a powerful emission. The coronal mass ejection was moving surprisingly slowly, so scientists couldn’t detect an approaching storm. This turned out to be the strongest in six years.
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Such phenomena can have disastrous consequences, including for the operation of terrestrial satellites or terrestrial energy networks. By the way, it can also be a feast for the eyes. Aurorae can spread beyond the polar regions: the stronger the glow, the farther from the poles they can occur. STEVE also appears to be a part of this relationship, though not to the same extent as Northern Lights. A few days ago, it was reported that it was seen by residents of the United States and Great Britain.
One of the main differences between STEVE and the Northern Lights is that the former are not caused by high-energy particles. It can also appear far from the poles. Unfortunately, astronomers do not yet have a common hypothesis that could explain why this is happening. Due to the increasing solar activity, which won’t change until at least 2025, space explorers will now likely have many opportunities to learn about phenomena like STEVE.
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