Mysterious Light Burns Across the Sky at 3000 Degrees Celsius – Scientists Can’t Explain What It Is


Last year, scientists looked up at the sky and found a spectacular band of light which was literally burning across the sky, at 3000 degrees Celsius. At first, many thought that it was just another form of the aurora. However, new research shows that it could be something completely unprecedented.

What was it?

Around April, last year, a band of burning light became pretty famous, because it looked like Aurora but it burned at 3000 degrees Celsius. A new study published in Science Advances shows that it could be a completely unprecedented celestial behavior.

It was actually photographed by amateurs for decades and a group of sky-watchers – called the Alberta Aurora Chasers – has given it a name, STEVE, after the urban hedge from ‘Over the hedge’.

What makes it special?

The difference between a regular aurora and STEVE is that the latter is only visible a few times a year and it happens closer to the equator than the Aurora, which can be seen all the time, if the right conditions happen.

Eric Donovan, a professor at the University of Calgary was lecturing for the group, and then he saw a picture of STEVE. He kept in touch with the Alberta Aurora Chasers while waiting for a STEVE appearance to coincide with the overpass of a Swarm satellite from the European Space Agency.

So what is it?

Apparently, STEVE is a ribbon of gas, 25 km in width, which flows westward at about 6 km per second. Since its first appearance, STEVE became popular as an ‘aurora’ event. However, the Aurora Australis Tasmania group prefers to call it a ‘proton arc’. These happen during solar storms.

Scientists still don’t know exactly what STEVE is, being completely new and for now, they call it ‘skyglow’.


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