In a rare sight, a strange line of light formed in the sky above southern Canada as a result of an unexpected solar storm that hit Earth on August 8, Newsweek said in a report.
Pictures of the phenomenon went viral on the social media and attracted numerous users. Alan Dyer, a Twitter user shared a post on Tuesday along with the images captured.
A great showing of @STEVEPhenomena last night, Aug 7-8, arcing across the sky, and showing his green fingers briefly for about 2 minutes. STEVE lasted about 40 minutes, appearing as the Kp5 aurora to the north subsided. This was 12:30 am MDT from southern Alberta. @TweetAurorapic.twitter.com/EtKF6udfFk— Alan Dyer (@amazingskyguy) August 8, 2022
While sharing the images he wrote, "A great showing of @STEVEPhenomena last night, Aug 7-8, arcing across the sky, and showing his green fingers briefly for about 2 minutes. STEVE lasted about 40 minutes, appearing as the Kp5 aurora to the north subsided. This was 12:30 am MDT from southern Alberta. @TweetAurora"
The strange sight occurred when the northern lights faded and lasted around 40 minutes. This airborne phenomenon is known as STEVE (Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement) and this was discovered in 2016 by Canadian citizen scientists, according to Newsweek.
Users were taken aback by the unexpected occurrence. They swamped the post's comment area with their interpretations of the phenomena, while others made beautiful remarks about it.
"STEVE was "discovered" here so he likes appearing here more than anywhere else! Seriously, western Canada is at the right geomagnetic latitude to see a lot of these sub-auroral zone phenomena. Kp5 like last night often leads to STEVE shows," wrote a user.
Another said, "Actually the picket fence lasted until the dispersion of the SAID arc aka Steve."
A third user simply said, "Amazing pictures."
STEVE generally appears in the night sky as a long, mauve-colored line, but it may also create a distinctive "picket fence" pattern, consisting of multiple parallel green stripes. It is believed to be created by similar atmospheric disturbances that cause the northern and southern lights, commonly known as the Aurora Borealis and Australis, and it appears to correspond with solar storms, said the outlet.