Astronomy Video

Jupiter’s North Pole Has Its Own Aurora Lights

The Hubble Telescope caught a remarkable phenomenon the surface of Jupiter: the beautiful Aurora lights shining on the North Pole of the planet.



The picture has been recorded only one week before the spaceship Juno arrives to the planet next week and will spend a year checking the condition of the largest planet in the solar system.
Jupiter is mostly known for its bright storms, like Great Red Spot, which is always swirling around planet’s atmosphere, thanks to which the colorful light shows appear on the poles of Jupiter.

The same way like these lights appear on Earth, they showed up on Jupiter: when the high energy particles enter planet’s atmosphere close to its magnetic poles and collide with atoms of gas.
The principle investigation of the study from the University of Leicester in UK, Jonathan Nichols admits that these lights are the most active and dramatic! It looks like Jupiter has thrown a fireworks party and is waiting for Juno’s arrival.
With the help of series of images, scientists can create even videos to demonstrate how light are changing in its poles, which cover areas bigger than the whole Earth.

But it is not only about the size of the lights, but also intensity, as Jupiter’s auroras are hundreds of times stronger than those Earth has. And one more difference ・they never cease on Jupiter like they do here. Earth is experiencing the strongest auroras only due to the solar storms: when charged particles rain down on the atmosphere, excite gas and then we seem them shining red, blue and green, but Jupiter has one more source for its personal auroras. The strong magnetic field of the gas giant grabs charged particles from its surroundings, including particles thrown into space by its orbiting moon Io, known for its numerous and large volcanoes.


Juno, which is supposed to land on Jupiter’s orbit on the July 4th has its primary aim to find out if the solid core lies beneath the dense atmosphere or no, and what are the reasons of such intense magnetic field?


Featured Image: io9.gizmodo

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