STEVE taken on March 22, 2020 @ Fermont, Quebec, Canada
© Jocelyn Blanchette
STEVE taken on March 22, 2020 @ Fermont, Quebec, Canada
It's springtime, and STEVE is back. Jocelyn Blanchette photographed the purple ribbon over Fermont, Quebec, on March 22nd. "STEVE was right beside Venus," she says.

STEVE (Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement) looks like an aurora, but it is not. The phenomenon is caused by hot (~3000°C) ribbons of gas flowing through Earth's magnetosphere at speeds exceeding 13,000 mph. Glowing with a soft-purple hue, these ribbons sometimes appear when Earth's magnetic field is unsettled by the solar wind.

Studies show that STEVE tends to occur more frequently during spring and fall than summer and winter. The onset of northern spring seems to lure the arc out of winter hiding. That means *now* is the time to look for STEVE.

STEVE's usual habitat lies between latitudes +50N and +55N; Blanchette's hometown is located squarely in that range: +53N. Recently, however, sky watchers have been seeing STEVE farther north, as high as +63N. Is STEVE's range increasing?