Juno probe helps scientists solve Jupiter's lightning mystery

Juno probe helps scientists solve Jupiter's lightning mystery

"Jupiter lightning distribution is inside out relative to Earth", said Dr Brown.

NASA's space probe Juno might have just cracked the code on Jupiter's mysterious lightning. In spite of the fact that, in some ways, the two kinds of lightning are polar opposites.

To learn more about the Jupiter's lightning storms and how they form and behave in the solar system's giant gaseous planet, the researchers have recently chose to gather all the data on storms on Jupiter sent by NASA's Juno probe which is still circling around the giant planet. At the point when NASA sent its Voyager 1 rocket on its outing through our Solar System, its flyby of Jupiter uncovered that Jupiter does surely have lightning, however it wasn't delivering similar sorts of radio flags that researchers know about from lightning here on Earth. Many theories tried to explain the phenomenon, but none of them could ever visualize traction as the answer.

The research examined how often the Juno spacecraft detected lightning on Jupiter and found out that the probe's Waves plasma and radio wave detector recorded more than 1,600 "whistlers".

In particular, the Microwave Radiometer Instrument, which can detect radio emissions in a wide range of frequencies. In the release, Brown explains a possible reason behind the discrepancy: "We think the reason we are the only ones who can see it is because Juno is flying closer to the lighting than ever before, and we are searching at a radio frequency that passes easily through Jupiter's ionosphere".

Lightning bolts on Jupiter are both similar and completely different from those on Earth, research suggests. "You can ask anybody who lives in the tropics-this doesn't hold true for our planet", Mr Brown added.

Unlike earth, Jupiter's lightning occur near the poles, but never near the equator. The sunlight that does reach Jupiter heats up the equatorial region, leading to an area of atmospheric stability that prevents warm air from rising.

Jupiter is about 25 times farther from the sun than Earth, meaning that, unlike our planet, it gets the majority of its heat from itself. This orbit takes Juno as close as 3,000 miles (5,000 kilometers) to the gas giant, and as far away as 5 million miles (8 million km). It brought to light many new facts associated with the huge gas world including- the red spot's depth, the 3D imagery of gas underneath the surface of the planet, and the functionality of Jupiter's auroras.

The poles don't experience this stabilising radiation, so warm gases from the planet's interior can rise to the upper atmosphere.

"These findings could help to improve our understanding of the composition, circulation and energy flows on Jupiter", said Brown. But another question looms.

This discovery was backed up in the second article, published by a team of scientists of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, which presented the most famous record collection of lightning with a giant planet.

The team recorded over 1,600 of the signals, compared to just 167 collected by Voyager 1. Looking at the new Juno data, scientists found that the instance of lightning strikes on Jupiter are six times higher than what Voyager 1 had detected.

"Our unique orbit allows our spacecraft to fly closer to Jupiter than any other spacecraft in history, so the signal strength of what the planet is radiating out is a thousand times stronger", Scott Bolton, Juno's principal investigator, said in the statement.

According to NASA, this is the largest database of low-frequency radio emissions to ever be recorded from lightning sources on Jupiter.

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