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Stargazers Discover New Northern Light, Immediately Name it Steve

Was Aurora McBorealisFace already taken?

by Mack Lamoureux
Apr 24 2017, 4:38pm

Photo by Uzair Shahid. Photo via Facebook

Look, Steve's a perfectly fine name.

Steve Buscemi's name is Steve; the original lead singer of Journey is named Steve; Stone Cold's first name is Steve; and Steve also happens to be the name of the best darn host of Family Feud ever.

Now, the family of famous Steves has grown by one more, as the name was bestowed upon a newly discovered northern light. The new light was spotted earlier this year by the Alberta Aurora Chasers, a crew of ameuter star gazers, while looking upward to the skies in the little patch of heaven on earth that is Alberta.

The group has even made a Gallery of Steve that features their best photos of the phenomena which, from the ground, looks like a ribbon of purple light dancing delicately in the air.

"Nobody really knows what causes this arc, so the chaser community of Alberta which observed this phenomenon didn't know how to properly call it and decided to just name it Steve," wrote Christoph Schaarschmidt in a Facebook post accompanying his photo of Steve.

The name is a direct reference to Over the Hedge, specifically a scene from the kids movie where they name something they've never seen before "Steve"—seems apt right?

The group initially misjudged it as a different type of northern light, however Eric Donovan, a professor at the University of Calgary who saw the photos, knew that these pretty lights were something else. So to test them, the European Space Agency (ESA) sent a motherfucking satellite more than 300 KM above the earth to check Steve out.

There is still a fair amount unknown about the phenomenon but, from the looks of it, ol' Stevie boy appears to be a flow of hot gas blasting through the air around it and, oddly enough, even though it's newly discovered, it's not all that rare.

"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," said Donovan in a statement.

They went on to explain that Steve is being discovered right now because of the quickly advancing technology and wouldn't have been able to be spotted even just a decade ago. So, let this be a lesson to all those out there looking, take heart—the Steves are out there, you just need to find them.

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