STEVE’s narrow ribbon of light, to the naked eye, looks strikingly similar to aurora. STEVE the Purple Beam of Light Is Not An Aurora After All In a second study of mysterious phenomena, researchers discovered that solar particles hitting the ionosphere do not … STEVE (left) appears as thin, ribbon-like purple emission during the aurora (far right), but it's not an aurora itself, research shows. The phenomenon has been known by photographers and aurora chasers for decades, who first gave it the nickname 'steve'; but it only became known to scientists in 2016. In addition, the phenomenon is often associated with “picket fence” emissions, which look like green columns of light passing through the ribbons at lower altitudes. However, there are distinct differences. This implies that Steve, whatever it is, isn’t an Aurora, but a new phenomenon yet to be adequately explained. STEVE’s narrow ribbon of light, to the naked eye, looks strikingly similar to aurora. Steve is not an aurora . Every few years, a thin river of purple light slashes through the skies of northern Canada. Thus, according to the scientists, the mysterious aurora known as Steve is not an aurora, but it might be a new and yet unknown phenomenon in the ionosphere, its glow being given by … First, its pinkish mauve color is not aurora-like. Aug. 20, 2018: A new type of aurora nicknamed “STEVE” may not be an aurora at all, according to a new paper published August 20th in the Geophysical Research Letters.A group of researchers combined satellite data with ground-based imagery of STEVE during a geomagnetic storm to investigate how STEVE is formed. An aurora borealis-like phenomenon observable in Canada — but much farther south than the northern lights appear — over Childs Lake, Manitoba. STEVE's narrow ribbon of light, to the naked eye, looks strikingly similar to aurora. First, its pinkish mauve color is not aurora-like. The researchers have said that Steve is a “Sky Glow”, not an aurora. First, its pinkish mauve color is not aurora-like. New territory “Our main conclusion is that STEVE is not an aurora,” said Bea Gallardo-Lacourt of the University of Calgary in Canada, and lead author of paper, in a press release. They officially named it Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement (STEVE), and initially determined it was a type of aurora. STEVE (the Strong Thermal Emissions Velocity Enhancement) is a spectacular and colorful celestial phenomenon that was first spotted 2016 . However, there are distinct differences. It does have the same energy source, though. However, there are distinct differences. In addition, the phenomenon is often associated with “picket fence” emissions, which look like green columns of light passing through the ribbons at lower altitudes. The team also confirms that, unlike the green picket fence, STEVE’s pink ribbon is not aurora — that is, it doesn’t come from the electrons that are raining down into the ionosphere. The researchers found that Steve doesn’t have the charged particles that auroras possess. A group of citizen skywatchers who witnessed it on July 25, 2016 decided to give the “magnificent, mysterious, borderline-miracu-lous” phenomenon a fittingly majestic name: “Steve.” (Credit: Ryan Sault) Aurorae occur when charged particles emitted by the Sun slam into Earth’s atmosphere, imparting energy to the molecules there that is subsequently released as light. But this pink-ish ribbon isn't an aurora — it's STEVE!