The Juno probe continues to amaze us with its fantastic images of Jupiter. Last week, NASA published a photograph showing a brilliant green glow caused by powerful lightning in a swirling vortex near the gas giant’s north pole.
The image was reportedly taken during Juno’s 31st flyby near Jupiter. Scientist Kevin Gill used data from the Junocam instrument aboard the probe and processed the image to make it even more vivid and impressive.
The probe was about 32,000 kilometers above the tops of Jupiter’s clouds when the image was taken. This allowed it to record a powerful lightning bolt that occurred in an area containing ammonia and water. Interestingly, lightning on Jupiter most often occur near the poles, where conditions for their formation are most favorable, experts say NASA.
Powerful lightning on Jupiter – this is one of the most amazing cosmic phenomena. Despite the fact that lightning on Jupiter is not as frequent as on Earth, they are much more powerful and prolonged. Unlike lightning on Earth, which usually lasts a few seconds, lightning on Jupiter can last several minutes.
This is due to the fact that on Jupiter the conditions for the formation of lightning are very different from those on Earth. The gas giant has a powerful magnetic field and an extensive atmosphere containing ammonia and water. In addition, Jupiter has strong winds that create eddies and turbulence in its atmosphere. All of this together creates the conditions for the formation of powerful lightning.
However, although lightning on Jupiter has long been studied, scientists still cannot fully explain how it is formed. Recently several hypotheses have been proposed, one of which is that lightning on Jupiter is formed as a result of collisions of air currents with various ions and molecules in the atmosphere.
Although lightning on Jupiter is one of the most amazing cosmic phenomena, it also poses a certain danger to probes exploring the planet. Powerful electrical discharges can damage electronics and even destroy a probe.
Nevertheless, with the Juno probe, scientists have a unique opportunity to study lightning on Jupiter and expand our understanding of this amazing cosmic phenomenon.