STEVE (Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement araura borialis
© Joseph Shaw via SpaceweathergallerySteve over Bozeman, Montana March 203, 2023
Steve Quayle is a friend of mine who helps me a lot in my life and online. Thank you!

On March 23-24, during an unexpected G4 severe geomagnetic storm - the most intense in nearly 6 years - not every light in the sky was the aurora borealis. There was also STEVE...

And the mysterious sky phenomenon appeared just over Steve Quayle's hometown: Bozeman, Montana. This is no coincidence! This is a divine tribute!

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 6 km/s (13,000 mph). These ribbons appear during strong geomagnetic storms, revealing themselves by their soft purple glow.

steve aurora bozeman
© Joseph Shaw via SpaceweathergallerySteve over Bozeman, Montana, March 23, 2023
This remarkable and surprising storm began on March 23rd when magnetic fields in the space around Earth suddenly shifted. In the jargon of space weather forecasting "BsubZ tipped south." South-pointing magnetic fields can open a crack in Earth's magnetosphere and, indeed, that's what happened. Earth's "shields were down" for almost 24 hours, allowing solar wind to penetrate and the storm to build to category G4.
steve montana march 2023 aurora
© Joseph Shaw via SpaceweathergallerySteve over Bozeman, Montana
These developments may have been caused the close passage of an unexpected CME. The storm cloud could have left the sun on March 20-21 when SOHO coronagraph data were unusually sparse. We didn't know it was coming. For aurora watchers, it was a welcome surprise.
steve aurora montana
© Samuel Egeland via SpaceWeatherGallerySteve over Livingston, Montana March 23, 2023
March 23-24, auroras spread into the United States as far south as New Mexico (+32.8N). Other notable mid- to low-latitude sightings were made in Virginia (+38.7N), Colorado (+40.4N), Missouri (+40.2N), Colorado again (+40.6N), Nebraska (+42.4N), Nebraska again (+41N) and North Carolina (+36.2N). More than half of all US states were in range of the display.
aurora montana march 2023
© Joseph Shaw via SpaceweathergalleryRed and green aurora over Bozeman, Montana, March 23, 2023
The cause of the storm is still unclear; it may have been the ripple effect of a near-miss CME on March 23rd.