Northern Lights forecast: New aurora Steve discovered above Scotland

A mysterious new aurora dubbed ‘Steve’ has been spotted in the UK.

The Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement, or Steve for short, has been spotted during displays of the Aurora Borealis, otherwise known as the Northern Lights, at night.

Steve is a narrow, east-west running ribbon of purple light which may also have some hues of green.

According to NASA, it could extend for hundreds or even thousands of miles and reported sightings have been in the UK, Canada, northern USA states including Alaska and New Zealand.

Steve was most recently seen on Monday 19 March from the isles of Skye and Lewis in the north of Scotland.

Other star gazers have reported seeing this mysterious aurora near Oban in Argyll and Gairloch in Wester Ross.

Meanwhile, the Northern Lights were viewable from locations including Shetland, Caithness and Aberdeenshire.

Steve has only ever been seen in presence with an aurora, mostly the Northern Lights.

This has led scientists to further explore how the two light phenomenons which emit hues are connected.

However unlike the Northern Lights, NASA space physicist, Elizabeth MacDonald explained Steve is different to other auroras.

“Normally, auroras occur when energised particles from the sun interact with the Earth’s magnetic field. But [that] didn’t explain Steve’s purple streaks.

“Different physics must be at play,” MacDonald concluded to science experts, Futurism.

In July 2017, scientists found out what made Steve scientifically unique.

“Steve appears when solar particles move rapidly from east to west by the interaction of both electrical and magnetic fields,” MacDonald continued.

“This interaction only happens at points around sixty degrees north of the equator.

“Researchers have known about this flow of hot, fast-moving particles since the 1970s… but scientists never knew that there was any visual phenomena associated [with] them”.

The new ethereal phenomenon can be identified by its mostly purple glow, with hints of green.

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