09 May 2021

"Steve" is a new type of Northern Lights

You might wonder what Steve means. At first it didn't mean anything. It was just a name. Steve comes from the animated movie Over The Hedge. In the movie, the main characters were watching bushes rustle. Out came an animal that they didn't know. So they named it Steve.

That's how Steve, the new type of northern lights, got its name. Citizen scientists took a few photos of Steve and showed the photos to NASA scientists. NASA scientists initially couldn't explain the newly discovered aurora type, so they all decided on naming it Steve for now.
NASA scientists have now created a "backronym" - Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement.
NASA has set up a project called Aurorasaurus. At Aurorasaurus, you can see where the northern lights are predicted to be located in the near future, and actual reports of the northern lights from people around the world.
Reposted from 2017 to add this spectacular photo of a STEVE. 

Discussion and multiple relevant links at the APOD source.


  1. Wuuut! That looks entirely artificial, yet isn't. Crazy stuff! I regret living in an aurora-deprived part of the world.

  2. > At Aurorasaurus, you can see

    oh, no - not another aurora prediction site. is this one better than all the others? and that page gives a google complaint: This page can't load Google Maps correctly.



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