Mysterious STEVE appeared after the STRONGEST solar storm in 6 years made landfall on Earth
On March 23, a huge and powerful coronal eruption cloud hit the Earth and caused a devastating solar storm event that no one anticipated. Due to cracks in the Earth’s magnetic field, particles seeped into the upper atmosphere and caused a G4-class geomagnetic storm. The storm caused radio blackouts, GPS disruptions, and aurora displays. But it also triggers a very mysterious phenomenon called STEVE or Strong Thermal Emission Rate Enhancement. The phenomenon flashed a brilliant light in the sky, unlike any aurora ever seen.
That phenomenon is also report by SpaceWeather.com noted in a March 25 entry on its website, “STEVE (Strong Thermal Emissions Acceleration) looks like the aurora, but it’s not. This phenomenon is caused by bands of hot gas (3000°C) flowing through the Earth’s magnetosphere at speeds in excess of 6 km/s (13,000 mph). These ribbons appear in strong times geomagnetic storm, revealing themselves by their soft purple light”. The phenomenon was seen in South Dakota, Washington D.C State, Idaho, again Idaho, Montana and Scotland.
Mysterious STEVE Is Seen After Serious Consequences Sun storm
STEVE is a very recent discovery. It was officially discovered in 2016 by citizen scientists and northern aurora hunters Canada, according to Live Science. It was subsequently verified by the European Space Agency (ESA) Swarm satellites. Purple light is formed by bands of superheated gas (more than 3000 degrees Celsius) moving through the Earth’s magnetosphere. These bands of gas typically move much faster than the air around it, and when it’s exposed to the radiation of solar storms, it creates a band of glowing colors. These phenomena differ from aurora borealis because they are not caused by solar radiation colliding with oxygen and nitrogen atoms through a process called refraction.
While this is still a superficial understanding of the chemical and physical activities going on to cause this strange phenomenon, it makes for a stunning sight in the sky. As for whether it can affect us, there is no evidence so far that these light displays are harmful to us or the planet in any way.
In recent times, STEVE was seen in August 2022 as Earth suffered another unexpected solar storm event.
The technology behind solar observations
While many space agencies from NASA with the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) track Sun-based weather phenomena, one of especially prominent is NOAA’s DSCOVR satellite. The satellite began operating in 2016 and tracks various measurements of the Sun and its atmosphere including the temperature, speed, density, orientation, and frequency of solar particles. The recovered data is then run through the Space Weather Prediction Center and final analysis is prepared.