Yakima’s Night Sky Lit Up with Rare, Aurora-Like Phenomenon [PHOTOS]
Well, here's mother nature, again, thinking Washington is more north than it is and I'm all for it. Not too long ago we could see the northern lights in our backyard and this time around keen observers witnessed something that's rare in any part of the world. let alone here in Yakima. Fortunately, we had some avid space photographers to capture a glimpse of what's known as STEVE.
It takes a Steve to know a STEVE. Ironically, or coincidentally, photographed by Steve Potter, he shared these photos with me to post on our websites to share with you if you missed out.
What makes these unique and rare in our area because it's a relatively newly discovered phenomena. STEVE stands for Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement. Space.com has more information on it. Truly amazing.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the phenomenon is visible from areas farther south than a typical aurora, and it looks like a ribbon of pink or mauve light. Sometimes, STEVE even has a "picket fence" appearance, with green columns of light passing through the ribbon. Auroras, by contrast, usually are shimmering green ribbons.
Amazing that we didn't need to travel to Canada to see this for ourselves. I'm sure it was far more vivid in Canada, however there was quite the light show right here in Yakima. Enough for a few to notice.
You'll find more information about STEVE on NASA's website.
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Gallery Credit: Nicole Caldwell & Matt Albasi