Scientists find a mysterious twin of unknown atmospheric phenomenon

Steve is a phenomenon related to the aurora borealis, discovered only a few years ago. Back then, scientists suggested that it should have a twin that appeared in the sky not in the evening, but at dawn. Recently, Swarm satellites helped to find it.

Steve’s twin. Source:

Mysterious Steve

A few years ago, scientists finally managed to prove the existence of Steve, an atmospheric phenomenon that resembles a purple ribbon, which is sometimes observed in high and middle latitudes simultaneously with the aurora, but is not part of it. 

While the usual auroras are green, blue or red, Steve has a purple color and cannot last for hours. That is why people have not suspected its existence for years. This optical effect is actually caused by the transfer of ions in a westerly direction at high altitudes.

A new study published in Earth, Planets and Space from the University of Electro-Communications in Japan, the Swedish Institute of Space Physics, the Arctic University of Norway and Tromsø-based photographer Gabriel Arne Hofstra suggests that we may have found its twin.

Phenomenon Twin

Scientists began to talk about the fact that Steve should have a twin even when they confirmed its existence. This is quite logical, if it is a flow of gas heated by charged particles moving westward, then the reverse process should also occur.

Steve’s twin could be seen in the morning twilight. It should represent the same flow of gas, only it should move to the east. Visually, it should also be a streak in the sky. It should be purple and green in color. However, it should also be quite weak and short-lived. 

Nevertheless, scientists have managed to confirm the existence of this phenomenon. ESA’s Swarm satellites helped them in this. There are three of them in total and so far none have been able to fly directly over Steve’s twin. However, they have definitely established that this phenomenon exists.

According to