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On "July 25, 2016 a thin river of purple light slashed through the skies of northern Canada in an arc that seemed to stretch hundreds of miles into space. It was a magnificent, mysterious, borderline-miraculous sight, and the group of citizen skywatchers who witnessed it decided to give the phenomenon a fittingly majestic name: 'Steve.'" (LiveScience: Eerie Sky Glow Called 'Steve' Isn't an Aurora, Is 'Completely Unknown' to Science)

full horizontal steve

This event was thought to just be a feature of the northern lights, but this is now being questioned and there may be no simple explanation.

"According to researchers at the University of Calgary in Canada and the University of California, Los Angeles, Steve does not contain the telltale traces of charged particles blasting through Earth's atmosphere that auroras do. Steve, therefore, is not an aurora at all, but something entirely different: a mysterious, largely unexplained phenomenon that the researchers have dubbed a 'sky glow.'"

multiple shots of steve

Has anyone performed any modeling or triangulation calculations in 3D space on the globe to estimate where it was located and its possible "end points" in relation to the Earth?

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    $\begingroup$ I don't know if anyone have done such calculation. But if you have the exact time and coordinates those pictures were taken from, it wouldn't be difficult to do the triangulation using the background stars as reference. $\endgroup$ – Camilo Rada Aug 23 '18 at 22:53
  • $\begingroup$ Excellent idea, yes, I was thinking along similar lines. The use of the stars would be an excellent method for setting up the frame. Aside from getting these times, how would you go about going through these calculations - is this something you're skilled at doing (or familiar with so as to get started)? I can dig about to see if I can isolate times / dates. - Note, I just saw from your background that you're likely knowledgeable in this area. Fantastic. $\endgroup$ – ylluminate Aug 23 '18 at 23:00
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    $\begingroup$ I've done similar calculations and I have a bunch of Matlab functions that would do most of the heavy work. Using the stars you can get the Azimuth and Elevation of discrete points along the Steve. With that data and the coordinates of the pictures you can calculate the lines in space that go from the observation point in the direction defined by the Azimuth and Elevations. If you make a 3D plot of those lines from different observation points, the 3D position of the Steve should be quite obvious as the zone where all lines intersect. $\endgroup$ – Camilo Rada Aug 23 '18 at 23:15

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