What is the Steve phenomenon? (December 22, 2023) – MeteoNews

The Steve phenomenon looks exactly like the Northern Lights. However, that is not one of them. Explanations.

Aurora Borealis or not?

Scientists have examined this closely STEVE phenomenon (Abbreviation for Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement). Presented in the form of a With a purple band and a green fence, this phenomenon visually resembles an aurora borealis. In 2018, researchers concluded that STEVE was not an aurora. In 2019, we thought it was more of a phenomenon. Recently, a scientist at the University of Berkeley explained what distinguishes STEVE from an aurora borealis.

Cowardly. 1: Steve phenomenon; Source: NASA

Ideal observation period

Become light phenomena like STEVE becomes more common as the Sun enters the active phase of its 11-year cycle, and November 2023 was a good month for such observations in northern latitudes. Since all of these transient light phenomena are triggered by solar storms and coronal mass ejections from the Sun, the approach to solar maximum is the ideal time to study rare events like STEVE.


THE Northern lights are caused by the collision of particles from the sun and molecules in the upper atmosphere. According to the latest findings, the phenomenon in STEVE can be traced back to a electric field parallel to the earth’s magnetic field. According to a physical model, scientists have actually shown that a moderate electric field of about 100 millivolts per meter at an altitude of about 110 kilometers could induce an acceleration of electrons to an energy sufficient to excite oxygen and nitrogen. This would therefore give the observed light spectrum.