Saturday, 23 June, 2018


Scientists told about the storms on Jupiter

Space								Image Source NASA Space Image Source NASA
Kristine Garrett | 09 June, 2018, 12:09

Having said that, there is a stark difference in where lightning strikes on Earth when compared to Jupiter.

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

Together, these findings represent the most detailed and comprehensive look at Jupiter's lightning to date, and provide important clues to figuring out the complex dynamics hidden by the planet's opaque layers of stormy clouds.

"But until Juno, all the lightning signals recorded by spacecraft [Voyagers 1 and 2, Galileo, Cassini] were limited to either visual detections or from the kilohertz range of the radio spectrum, despite a search for signals in the megahertz range".

"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".

"Jupiter lightning distribution is inside out relative to Earth".

Meanwhile, a second study also published in Nature examined the nature of the lightning from Jupiter further.

In a new paper published in Nature today, scientists from NASA's Juno mission describe the ways in which lightning on Jupiter is actually analogous to Earth's lightning.

An artist's impression of lightning bolts in the atmosphere if Jupiter.

Data from everyone's favourite Jupiter probe has revealed that, contrary to previous measurements, the gas giant's lightning does occur in megahertz frequencies, and occurs much more frequently than thought - but it also seems to be localised to the planet's poles. But when the venerable explorer hurtled by, the data showed that the lightning-associated radio signals didn't match the details of the radio signals produced by lightning here at Earth. At that distance, Jupiter receives 25 times less sunlight than Earth.

An external source of the heat on Earth is attributed to incoming solar radiation and the maximum heat is caught by the Equator, thereby through the process of the convention, the warm air rises more easily, spurring thunderstorms in more numbers than all other places on earth, that create the bolts of lightning. With additional funding through fiscal year 2022, the unmanned spacecraft will have additional time to complete its primary science observations of the gas giant and its magnetic field, with the extra time required due to the spacecraft taking longer than planned orbits.

As to why lightning on Jupiter is concentrated near its poles and not at the equator, NASA says that it simply follows heat.

Now, for the first time, Brown's team has detected atmospheric radio signals from lightning - called sferics - in the megahertz range, and it's thanks to Juno's suite of new and highly sensitive instruments. This is much higher than Voyager previously detected and similar to rates found on Earth. This varying radio frequency suggests that the lightning from the two planets are wildly different.

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.

It also seems that NASA is going to extend Juno's mission until July 2021, much to the excitement of the scientists.

Juno is bound to make its 13th flyby of Jupiter on July 16.

"These discoveries could only happen with Juno", said Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator at the Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas.

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