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STEVE, The Purple Light In The Sky, Is Still A Mystery To Scientists

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STEVE, The Purple Light In The Sky, Is Still A Mystery To Scientists
A new study published in Geophysical Research Letters examined one explanation for STEVE: that it was a rare type of aurora.
SHOW TRANSCRIPT

A multicolor light in the atmosphere grabbed skygazers' attention last year, and scientists still aren't sure what it was.

The light was nicknamed STEVE, and that's now its official name as well. It stands for Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement. 

A new study published in Geophysical Research Letters examined one explanation for STEVE: that it was a rare type of aurora. 

The study came to the conclusion that STEVE is actually an entirely new kind of atmospheric phenomenon. 

Researchers say that's because STEVE might not be associated with the particle precipitation in Earth's atmosphere that usually produces an aurora. 

So scientists still aren't entirely sure what STEVE is. For now, they've decided to call it a skyglow.