This solar storm strike on Earth triggered a Mysterious phenomenon called ‘STEVE’

    On August 7 and 8, an unexpected solar storm event on Earth displayed a mysterious and rare sky phenomenon called STEVE or Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement. What is it and how can it affect us? Find out.
    By: HT TECH
    | Updated on: Aug 11 2022, 10:01 IST
    WARNING! Solar Storm to hit Earth soon
    According to Spaceweather.com’s report, the new sunspot is so huge that it is even changing the way the sun vibrates. The Space Weather Prediction Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted that the geomagnetic field around Earth would be unsettled over the weekend which could disrupt the radio-magnetic sphere.
    1/5 According to Spaceweather.com’s report, the new sunspot is so huge that it is even changing the way the sun vibrates. The Space Weather Prediction Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted that the geomagnetic field around Earth would be unsettled over the weekend which could disrupt the radio-magnetic sphere. (nasa.gov)
    Solar flare
    2/5 Spaceweather.com said, “A high speed stream of solar wind is approaching Earth. Estimated time of arrival: Aug. 9th. The gaseous material is flowing from an equatorial hole in the sun's atmosphere. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.” (SDO/NASA)
    Coronal Mass Ejection or CME
    3/5 Solar storms occur due to a coronal mass ejection (CME) that is set off on the surface of the Sun. As per the K-index, which measures the magnetic field around the Earth, solar storms are divided into 5 classes from G-1 to G-5. The G-1 is the lowest impact solar G5 is given to the most severe solar storms. (Pixabay)
    Solar flare
    4/5 According to NASA, Sunspots are dark areas on the solar surface which contain strong magnetic fields that are constantly shifting and can form and dissipate over periods of days or weeks. They occur when strong magnetic fields emerge through the solar surface and allow the area to cool slightly. (Pixabay)
    Aurora or Northern lights
    5/5 When solar flares hit Earth, they interact with the Earth’s electromagnetic field to cause a Geomagnetic storm. It may cause blackouts, GPS problems. However, if the solar storm is big enough, it can wreak havoc on all the earth's technological infrastructure. It is also the reason behind the stunning night-sky phenomenon that we know as Auroras or Northern Lights. (Pixabay)
    Solar Storm
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    The previous solar storm on Earth left scientists puzzled with a rare phenomenon called STEVE. (@KaniskiDylan / Twitter)

    We have always associated solar storms with aurora displays, damage to man-made satellites, radio blackouts and GPS disruptions, but it turns out that solar storms can trigger more mysterious phenomenons than that. The August 7 and 8 solar storm, which came as a surprise, caused a strange space phenomenon that left even the scientists puzzled. Many reported seeing a bright stream of light across the sky which was not like any aurora even seen. The question that arises now is what was that stunning light and can it affect us somehow?

    The event was first reported by SpaceWeather.com which noted on its website, “During yesterday's surprise geomagnetic storm, hot ribbons of plasma flowed through Earth's magnetosphere. The name of this phenomenon is ‘STEVE' — short for Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement. It was also sighted in Montana and Pennsylvania”.

    The mysterious phenomenon to be born out of a solar storm is called STEVE

    STEVE was seen in many locations in the higher latitudes of the northern hemisphere and reportedly lasted about 40 minutes to an hour. While not much is known about these purple streams of light, we do know some facts about it.

    STEVE is a very recent discovery. It was first observed in 2017 by citizen scientists and aurora hunters in northern Canada, according to Live Science. The purple glow is formed due to excessively hot (more than 3000 degrees Celsius) gas ribbons that move through the magnetosphere of the Earth. These gas ribbons typically move much faster than the air surrounding it and when it comes in contact with the radiation of solar storms, it gives out a band of glowing color. These are different from auroras because they are not caused by solar radiations colliding with atoms of oxygen and nitrogen through a process called refraction.

    While this is still a superficial understanding of the chemical and physical activities that are taking place to cause this strange phenomenon, it does make for a stunning view across the sky. As for whether it can affect us, so far no evidence shows that these light displays are in any way harmful for us or the planet.

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    First Published Date: 11 Aug, 10:01 IST
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