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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Chiang Mai

    Aurora photographers find new night sky lights and call them Steve

    A group of aurora enthusiasts have found a new type of light in the night sky and named it Steve.

    Eric Donovan from the University of Calgary in Canada spotted the feature in photos shared on a Facebook group.

    He did not recognise it as a catalogued phenomenon and although the group were calling it a proton arc, he knew proton auroras were not visible.

    Testing showed it appeared to be a hot stream of fast-flowing gas in the higher reaches of the atmosphere.

    The European Space Agency (ESA) sent electric field instruments to measure it 300km (190 miles) above the surface of the Earth and found the temperature of the air was 3,000C (5,432F) hotter inside the gas stream than outside it.

    Inside, the 25km-wide ribbon of gas was flowing at 6 km/s (13,000mph), 600 times faster than the air on either side.

    Relatively little else is known about the big purple light as yet but it appears it is not an aurora as it does not stem from the interaction of solar particles with the Earth's magnetic field.

    There are reports that the group called it Steve in homage to a 2006 children's film, Over the Hedge, where the characters give the name to a creature they have not seen before.

    Roger Haagmans of the ESA said: "It is amazing how a beautiful natural phenomenon, seen by observant citizens, can trigger scientists' curiosity.

    "It turns out that Steve is actually remarkably common, but we hadn't noticed it before. "It's thanks to ground-based observations, satellites, today's explosion of access to data and an army of citizen scientists joining forces to document it."

    Aurora photographers find new night sky lights and call them Steve - BBC News

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat

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    07-08-2019 @ 11:41 AM
    Magical lights, they are...It is supposedly recorded in history that the Northern Lights made a rare and "mystical" appearance during the Civil War when men lay dead and dying, waiting for the break of day for the carnage to continue...

    "This aurora was seen by Civil War soldiers in Fredericksburg, Virginia. According to a letter by Milo Grow "There was a brilliant exhibition of Aurora Borealis soon after dark last night. For half an hour it shows very brilliantly reaching to the mid heavens in colors of yellow and red. " And in the David Ballenger letters "On the night of the second day of the battle there was a singular appearance in the elements, the most singular that I ever saw in my life. Some said it was an Aurora Borealis, or Northern Light, but if it was it was a little different from any I ever saw before. It rose on the side of the enemy and came up very near parallel with our line of battle, and right over us. It turned as red as blood, but when it commenced rising it looked more like the appearance of the moon rising than anything else I know to compare it to" (1862 December 23). " And by John W. Thompson, Jr. "Louisiana sent those famous cosmopolitan Zouaves called the Louisiana Tigers, and there were Florida troops who, undismayed in fire, stampeded the night after Fredericksburg, when the Aurora Borealis snapped and crackled over that field of the frozen dead hard by the Rappahannock ..."

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