An Aurorasaurus Citizen Science Database of Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement (STEVE) Observations (ePoster)

TitleAn Aurorasaurus Citizen Science Database of Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement (STEVE) Observations (ePoster)
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsHunnekuhl, M, MacDonald, E
Conference NameHamSCI Workshop 2020
Date Published03/2020
Conference LocationScranton, PA

For many years, amateur aurora observers have reported on unique subauroral aurora or aurora‐like structures which they could not classify at first. Later, these structures also puzzled the scientific community. In 2016 members of the Alberta Aurora Chasers Facebook group introduced the name STEVE for these structures. Very recently in 2018 and 2019, first scientific publications have been published linking these subauroral structures with the subauroral ion drift (SAID). Since then the backronym Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement is used in the scientific literature for this phenomenon. The underlying ionospheric processes are still not understood in every detail. Although highly likely STEVE observations have been reported sporadically since nearly the end of the Maunder Minimum their specific character had been almost overlooked for a long time until citizen scientists working with Aurorasaurus started to put a closer view on them and contacted the scientific community reaching for answers to all their questions. A freely accessible event list for worldwide image supported amateur STEVE observations was missing for a long time. The presented work is part of a non‐funded volunteer project and has been performed with the aim to fill this gap. STEVE observations posted in Aurora related social media groups but also on aurora observer websites have been analyzed to prepare the list on the basis of data use standards and fair use. The outcome is a list summarizing more than 790 single observations, observations with time for 150 days and 178+ observation days in total. In its current version the event list covers the period January 1999 to December 2019. This presentation gives an overview for the content and development of the list, and briefly summarizes possible analyzes that can be performed based on the content of the event list and how it already supports and furthers the research on the STEVE phenomenon. This work presents an example of how data from citizen scientists can support highly topical space science research.

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