The 2012 find is all the more remarkable because it was identified by an amateur astronomer who was an attorney by day and observer of the skies by night. The amateur took a series of high-resolution photos and created an animation that showed this unusual feature.
The plume proved to be an unexplained phenomenon since the time of its documentation in 2012. Ultimately, amateur astronomy community buzz caught the attention of a Spanish researcher and the feature was investigated. A new paper authored by the original amateur astronomer and two fellow amateurs posits that the plume may be a carbon dioxide or water cloud. Alternatively, it may be caused by aurora activity, similar to what occurs on Earth.