Jupiter’s lightning is more frequent than expected and very Earth-like

6_7_Jupiter lightning

"Given the very pronounced differences in the atmospheres between Jupiter and Earth", said William Kurth, the leading author of the second study, the similarities between lightning on Jupiter and the lightning storms on Earth are stunning.

The first time you approach the planet, the spacecraft has recorded 377 of the lightning discharges, such as those that occur on Earth.

The next job for Juno is another flyby, the thirteenth since arriving, over the planet's cloud tops.

The other study, published in the journal Nature, unveiled that lighting on Jupiter produces not only kilohertz emissions, the singular radio range detected by Voyager 1 almost four decades ago, but also gigahertz radio waves, just like lightning on Earth.

"No matter what planet you're on, lightning bolts act like radio transmitters, sending out radio waves when they flash across a sky", said Shannon Brown, a Juno researcher at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Discovery of rapid whistlers close to Jupiter implying lightning rates similar to those on Earth.

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

Scientists also measured similar rates of lightning on Jupiter as seen in storms on Earth. 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.

"Many theories were offered up to explain it, but no one theory could ever get traction as the answer", Brown said of the problem. "Even though we see lightning near both poles, why is it mostly recorded at Jupiter's north pole?" Also, our microwave and plasma wave instruments are state-of-the-art, allowing us to pick out even weak lightning signals from the cacophony of radio emissions from Jupiter.

What this means is that as the hot, moist air rises from deep in the Jovian atmosphere, it meets a cap of warm air in the tropical regions of Jupiter.

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Juno is unraveling Jupiter's mysteries.

This was probably due to the way that the gas giant was heated, the team believed - because on Earth, where we received most of our heat from the sun's radiation, the hottest place is the equator which receives the most of the sunshine.

Previous recordings of Jupiter's lightning, dubbed whistlers thanks to their characteristic whistle-like sound, all seemed to fall in the kilohertz range of the radio spectrum.

The resemblance of Jupiter to our planet was confirmed by a second study led by Dr. Ivana Kolpashovo, which revealed that lightning on Jupiter blow at a speed, such as those that occur during thunderstorms on Earth. 2018. Prevalent lightning sferics at 600 megahertz near Jupiter's poles. This varying radio frequency suggests that the lightning from the two planets are wildly different.

"This will help us better understand the composition, general circulation and energy transport on Jupiter".

Jupiter's poles, which aren't warmed by the Sun, have a less stable atmosphere, according to NASA, which allows warm gases to rise and create the recipe needed to produce lightning.

Juno has been found to have been orbiting Jupiter since July 4, 2016, as per NASA reports.

"NASA has approved Juno to continue through 2022 to finish all of our originally planned science", Scott Bolton, Juno's principle investigator from the Southwest Research Institute, told Gizmodo.



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