STEVE appears from a blood-red arc of light in New Zealand footage

Auroral images taken in New Zealand, showing an arc of red auroras (left), the skyglow called STEVE (middle), and a partial arc with green fence structures (right). (Image credit: Martinis et al.)

On March 17, 2015, a blood-red arc of light pierced the sky hundreds of miles above New Zealand. For the next half hour, an amateur skywatcher watched that arc as it transformed before their eyes into one of Earth’s most puzzling atmospheric mysteries: the mysterious ribbon of light known as STEVE, newly released images reveal.

STEVE, short for “strong thermal velocity enhancement,” is an atmospheric oddity first described in 2018, after amateur aurora hunters spotted a narrow stream of diaphanous purple arc light in the sky over northern California. Canada. Scientists who studied the phenomenon soon confirmed that STEVE was not a dawn — the multicolored glow that appears at high latitudes when solar particles collide with atoms of high from the earth atmosphere. Rather, STEVE was a separate and unique phenomenon that is “completely unknown (opens in a new tab) To science

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