Looks like you're using an older browser. For the best experience possible, please upgrade your browser or download a modern browser.
We recommend these free browsers: Firefox or Chrome
You must update your Flash version to view videos. http://www.adobe.com/go/getflashplayer
For the optimal Juno experience please install Chrome. Download Chrome. Or continue to explore features of the Juno spacecraft using the links on your left.

News

06.06.18

Man's/Woman's Nike Women's 89 Air Pegasus 89 Women's Ideal gift for all occasions In short supply Seasonal hot sale 8e5d8c

Ever since NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft flew past Jupiter in March, 1979, scientists have wondered about the origin of Jupiter’s lightning. That encounter confirmed the existence of Jovian lightning, which had been theorized for centuries. 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.

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. Although, in some ways, the two types of lightning are polar opposites.

“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 of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, a Juno scientist and lead author of the paper. “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. Many theories were offered up to explain it, but no one theory could ever get traction as the answer.”

Enter Juno, which has been orbiting Jupiter since July 4, 2016. Among its suite of highly sensitive instruments is the Microwave Radiometer Instrument (MWR), which records emissions from the gas giant across a wide spectrum of frequencies.  

“In the data from our first eight flybys, Juno’s MWR detected 377 lightning discharges,” said Brown. “They were recorded in the megahertz as well as gigahertz range, which is what you can find with terrestrial lightning emissions. We think the reason we are the only ones who can see it is because Juno is flying closer to the lighting than ever before, and we are searching at a radio frequency that passes easily through Jupiter’s ionosphere.”

While the revelation showed how Jupiter lightning is similar to Earth’s, the new paper also notes that where these lightning bolts flash on each planet is actually quite different.

“Jupiter lightning distribution is inside out relative to Earth,” said Brown. “There is a lot of activity near Jupiter’s poles but none near the equator. You can ask anybody who lives in the tropics -- this doesn’t hold true for our planet.”

Why do lightning bolts congregate near the equator on Earth and near the poles on Jupiter? Follow the heat.

Earth’s derives the vast majority of its heat externally from solar radiation, courtesy of our Sun. Because our equator bears the brunt of this sunshine, warm moist air rises (through convection) more freely there, which fuels towering thunderstorms that produce lightning.

Jupiter’s orbit is five times farther from the Sun than Earth’s orbit, which means that the giant planet receives 25 times less sunlight than Earth. But even though Jupiter’s atmosphere derives the majority of its heat from within the planet itself, this doesn’t render the Sun’s rays irrelevant. They do provide some warmth, heating up Jupiter’s equator more than the poles -- just as they heat up Earth. Scientists believe that this heating at Jupiter’s equator is just enough to create stability in the upper atmosphere, inhibiting the rise of warm air from within. The poles, which do not have this upper-level warmth and therefore no atmospheric stability, allow warm gases from Jupiter’s interior to rise, driving convection and therefore creating the ingredients for lightning.

“These findings could help to improve our understanding of the composition, circulation and energy flows on Jupiter,” said Brown. But another question looms, she said. “Even though we see lightning near both poles, why is it mostly recorded at Jupiter’s north pole?”

In a second Juno lightning paper published today in Nature Astronomy, Ivana Kolmašová of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, and colleagues, present the largest database of lightning-generated low-frequency radio emissions around Jupiter (whistlers) to date. The data set of more than 1,600 signals, collected by Juno’s Waves instrument, is almost 10 times the number recorded by Voyager 1. Juno detected peak rates of four lightning strikes per second (similar to the rates observed in thunderstorms on Earth) which is six times higher than the peak values detected by Voyager 1.

“These discoveries could only happen with Juno,” said Scott Bolton, principal investigator of Juno from the Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio. “Our unique orbit allows our spacecraft to fly closer to Jupiter than any other spacecraft in history, so the signal strength of what the planet is radiating out is a thousand times stronger. 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. “

NASA's Juno spacecraft will make its 13th science flyby over Jupiter's mysterious cloud tops on July 16.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. Juno is part of NASA's New Frontiers Program, which is managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. The Microwave Radiometer instrument (MWR) was built by JPL. The Juno Waves instrument was provided by the University of Iowa. Lockheed Martin Space, Denver, built the spacecraft.
Women's Nike Flyknit Max Running Shoe Size 10.5 (620659-406) HOT PUNCH/BLACKNIKE Womens Nike Free Tr 8 942888-800 CRIMSON TINT/NAVY-WHITE Womens Size 8.5,Nike Lunar Hyperrev Ext Olive Green And White Size 12 New In BoxNIB Nike 2016 Mens Flex TR Training Running Shoes White/Black/Volt 830369-101 13,Mens Nike Air Jordan 1 Mid RARE - 554724 120 - White Cool Grey Trainers 23 Sz10,Nike Air Jordan 11 Retro Low GS AJ11 Cool Grey White Kid Women Shoes 528896-003NIKE NEW WOMENS SIDELINE II INSERT SIZE 6.5,Nike AF1 Low Upstep Breathe Women's White/White 33123100,NIKE AIR JORDAN XI 11 RETRO PREMIUM HC HEIRESS BLACK/GOLD MENS 8 WOMENS 9.5,Nike Air Max 95 Women's Black 30796001,Men's Nike Air DT Max 96 "DEION SANDERS" Black-Varsity Maize-White, Size 9,New Mens 10.5 NIKE Dunk High Hi Top White Fireberry Leather Shoes $85 317982-127,Nike Men's Air Monarch IV Training Shoes 415445-001 Size 10 Black,Nike Dunk High Premium Quasar Purple, Limited Edition, Dunk Hi, Nike Basketball,Nike Classics Cortez Leather Womens Style : 807471 WHITE/BLACK-WHITE Size 6,NIKE ZENJI JUVENATE 36.5-40.5 NUEVO rosheone rosherun kaishi free trainer 1Nike Womens Air Rift Lib QS Running Trainers 848476 Sneakers Shoes 101,Nike Air Foamposite One AA3963 100 Silver White Women Basketball Shoes Sz 12 NWB,Nike Metcon 4 Womens 924593-004 Atmosphere Grey Cross Training Shoes Size 8.5Nike 749361 Mens Free Trainer 3.0 V4 Cross Training Low Top Shoes Sneakers,Mens Nike Air Huarache Size 13 BlueGentlemen/Ladies Mens Grey Nike Shoes Sz 8.5 Good design Moderate cost Fair price,NIKE MEN AIR HUARACHE ID SUEDE BLUE SZ 11 WOMEN/SZ 9.5 MENS 777331-988,NIKE Womens Nike Free Rn Running 2017 880840-003 BLACK Size 7,Nike Womens Air Max Motion Low Running Sneakers,Nike grey & blue vintage style leather trainers hi high top sport gym shoes 6 39,Nike Air Max 97 Ultra '17 Particle Rose/Neutral Indigo (WS) (AO2326 600) s 9 NEW,Nike Air Max 1 Se Womens Style : 881101 BLACK/BLACK/POLAR/WHITE Womens Size 8,Nike Air Prestige III High White Size 8.5 (Offer)NIKE ZOOM RIVAL D 10 TRACK SPIKES Size 12.5 Running Shoes,
NIKE WOMEN'S SIZE 11 AIR ZOOM PEGASUS 33 RUNNING SHOE 831356 PURPLE SMOKE,

Members of the media, please contact:

D.C. Agle
Juno Media Relations Representative
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Dwayne Brown
NASA Public Affairs Officer
NASA Headquarters

Where is Juno now?

Visualize Juno’s journey through space and get up-to-date data sets using NASA's Eyes on the Solar System 3D interactive.