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Northern Lights: What is Steve and why is it different to an aurora borealis?

By Simon King & James Gregory

BBC Weather and BBC News

A message to everyone called Steve - your name was quite literally up in lights on Sunday night.

Steve is shy and rarely appears in the skies of the UK - there were reported sightings back in March and in the Shetland Islands in 2021.

But Steve has returned, this time illuminating the skies over the north-east of England and Scotland.

The thin, purple ribbon, which was seen glowing in the sky in Northumberland, County Durham and Argyll, is a relatively new scientific discovery.

Steve is not an aurora but is often associated with its better known cousin, the aurora borealis - or Northern Lights - which was also captured across parts of the UK on Sunday.

The much rarer Steve has appeared in the pictures BBC Weather were sent from their Weather Watchers.

By Simon King & James Gregory

BBC Weather and BBC News

A message to everyone called Steve - your name was quite literally up in lights on Sunday night.

Steve is shy and rarely appears in the skies of the UK - there were reported sightings back in March and in the Shetland Islands in 2021.

But Steve has returned, this time illuminating the skies over the north-east of England and Scotland.

The thin, purple ribbon, which was seen glowing in the sky in Northumberland, County Durham and Argyll, is a relatively new scientific discovery.

Steve is not an aurora but is often associated with its better known cousin, the aurora borealis - or Northern Lights - which was also captured across parts of the UK on Sunday.

The much rarer Steve has appeared in the pictures BBC Weather were sent from their Weather Watchers.

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