The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured stunning new ultraviolet images of the auroral lights in the atmosphere of the largest planet in our Solar system, Jupiter!
Auroras are spectacular displays often seen at the highest latitudes on Earth.
On our planet, as well as on the gas giants Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, they occur at the foot of the planetary magnetic field lines near the poles.
They are produced by charged particles, electrons, protons or ions, precipitating along these lines.
Jupiter’s auroras were first discovered by NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft in 1979.
A thin ring of light on the planet’s nightside looked like a stretched-out version of Earth’s auroras. Only later on, was it discovered that the Jovian auroras were best visible in the ultraviolet.
“These auroras are very dramatic and among the most active I have ever seen,” said Dr. Jonathan Nichols from the University of Leicester, UK, and principal investigator of the new study.
“It almost seems as if Jupiter is throwing a firework party for the imminent arrival of Juno.”
source - sci-news.com