26 April 2017

New Phenomenon Discovered in the Night Sky ~ The Watchers ~ 21 April 2017


"Steve"? Can't they come up with something more appropriate?

Thanks to all who sent in this link.

Source: The Watchers 

A new phenomenon seen as a giant purple streak of light in the night sky has been recently discovered and, for lack of a better word, named Steve. Steve was discovered thanks to scientists, citizen scientists, ground-based imagers and ESA's magnetic field Swarm mission.
Originally thought to be a ‘proton arc,’ this strange feature has captured the attention of scientists and while there is still a lot to learn about it, the electric field instrument aboard Swarm mission has measured it.
Flying through the phenomenon now known as Steve, the temperature 300 km (186 miles) above Earth’s surface jumped by 3 000 °C (5 432 °F) and the data revealed a 25 km (15 miles) wide ribbon of gas flowing westward at about 6 km/s compared to a speed of about 10 m/s at either side of the ribbon.
Speaking at the recent Swarm science meeting in Canada, Eric Donovan from the University of Calgary explained how this new finding couldn’t have happened 20 years ago when he started to study the aurora.
While the shimmering, eerie, light display of auroras might be beautiful and captivating, they are also a visual reminder that Earth is connected electrically to the Sun. A better understanding of the aurora helps to understand more about the relationship between Earth’s magnetic field and the charged atomic particles streaming from the Sun as the solar wind.
“In 1997 we had just one all-sky imager in North America to observe the aurora borealis from the ground,” Donovan said.
“Back then we would be lucky if we got one photograph a night of the aurora taken from the ground that coincides with an observation from a satellite. Now we have many more all-sky imagers and satellite missions like Swarm so we get more than 100 a night.”
And now, social media and citizen scientists also have an increasingly important role.

Please read on....


No comments:

Post a Comment