Lightning On Jupiter Is Stunningly Similar To The Lightning Storms On Earth

Space								Image Source NASA

Space Image Source NASA

Analysis of the radio spectrum indicated that one source of these transmissions were lightning bolts arcing through the Jovian atmosphere, a billion times more powerful than those on Earth.

The first time you approach the planet, the spacecraft has recorded 377 of the lightning discharges, such as those that occur on Earth. This is far more than earlier spacecraft could detect.

Brown explained how all the previous probes - Voyagers 1 and 2, Galileo and even Cassini recorded lightning signals, but they were, "limited to either visual detections or from the kilohertz range of the radio spectrum, despite a search for signals in the megahertz range".

"No matter what planet you're on, lightning bolts act like radio transmitters - sending out radio waves when they flash across a sky", Shannon Brown of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the lead author of the latest work said in a statement.

An artist's impression of lightning bolts in the northern hemisphere of Jupiter.

One of the studies, featured in the journal Nature Astronomy, shows that lightning strikes on Jupiter "can be as frequent as on Earth", lead author Ivana Kolmašová of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague told Space.com.

The findings of the research have been just disclosed in the latest research paper of scientific journal - Nature, which explain about the source of the results and how did the astronomers explored them from the Juno to resolve the odd lightning mystery of Jupiter. The lightning originates at Jupiter's poles, rather than distributed across its surface, and the researchers attribute that to Jupiter's distance from the Sun. Unlike on Earth, lightning on Jupiter only seems to occur at high latitudes and is concentrated exclusively around the planet's poles.

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In a nutshell, what NASA has found is that the lightning on Jupiter is strikingly similar to lightning on Earth in terms of frequency.

Juno has been returning stunning close-up pictures of Jupiter since the probe first arrived at the doorstep of the gassy planet on July 4, 2016, Gizmodo reported. 2018. Prevalent lightning sferics at 600 megahertz near Jupiter's poles. The little craft that could will continue to beam back new insights about the gas giant through 2021.

The spacecraft is studying Jupiter's gravitational and magnetic fields as well as its thick atmosphere, collecting data that should reveal key insights about how the gas giant formed and evolved.

Jupiter, on the other hand, sits much further away from our star and receives far less sunlight. It is believed that this effect is due to differences in the distribution of heat on both planets.

But the findings did reveal something important about Jupiter's atmospheric composition and circulation. As Jupiter produces lightning through electrical reactions between ice and water droplets, the lightning's location suggests that the water-filled gas in the atmosphere circulates toward the poles. After two years of orbit, Juno remained operationally healthy, extending its mission to another three years. The decision was made on June 7, following an assessment that Juno is still capable of collecting science data.

"These discoveries could only happen with Juno", said Juno principal investigator Dr. Scott Bolton, a researcher at the Southwest Research Institute and co-author of both papers.

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