I’m not sure why but people like to name things “Steve.” The default character in the game Minecraft is Steve. The hedge in the movie Over the Hedge is Named Steve.
“It’s a pretty name.”
And now there’s a unique aurora named Steve.
Discovered by citizen scientists and observers, this gas ribbon was collectively named Steve! You read that correctly. The lights appeared in the sky over Scotland, Canada, and many Northern regions in March of 2018, in beautiful hues of purple and green in an arching shape that resembles a ribbon cascading over the sky.
Steve stands for lots of things depending on the Steve and who you ask. And I’m sure there are a few folks who will point out with glee the similarities between myself and a swirling gas, but in this case, Steve is an acronym.
A glowing ribbon of purple light running east-west in the night sky has recently been observed by citizen scientists. This narrow, subauroral, visible structure, distinct from the traditional auroral oval, was largely undocumented in the scientific literature and little was known about its formation. Amateur photo sequences showed colors distinctly different from common types of Aurora and occasionally indicated magnetic field–aligned substructures.
I’d like to meet this S.t.e.v.e. someday, but that will require a good deal of lounging around at night in places a bit further north than where I sit writing this.
I’m sure there are a few folks who’d like me to do just that.
Sorry to disappoint. My work here is not yet done.