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

Nike Air Max 95, White, White, 95, Mens 10 d824e6

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.
Nike Lebron XIII Men’s Basketball Sneakers 807219-003 SZ 10.5,DS NIKE 2000 VINTAGE AIR DARWIN LITE LOW CLASSIC OLIVER 9 HUARACHE MOWABB PENNYNike W Nike Free TR Focus Flyknit Cross Training Wmns Shoes Blue 844817-402,Nike Flyknit Lunar3 Women Shoes 698182-603 Pink Blast Fireberry Orange Size 7.5,2008 Nike HYPERDUNK CHINA OLYMPIC SPORT RED BLACK MAIZE YELLOW 324820-602 11.5,Nike SB Cigar City - Size 8,2010 NIKE LEBRON VIII 8 FIBA USA OLYMPIC 417098 100 SZ 11.5 lakers,Nike Air Zoom Flight the Glove size 8.5 616772 400 Gary Payton NBA Duke Kentucky,NEW Nike Air Max 90 Sneakerboot WHEAT FLAX HAYSTACK 684714-700 sz 9 WINTER BOOT,Nike Paul Rodriguez Zoom Air Elite Prod 1 SB Laser Cinco De Mayo Mexico sz 11,NIKE AIR JORDAN 12 RETRO BG WOLF GREY-UNI BLUE SZ 3.5Y-WOMENS SZ 5 [153265-007]Nike Air Huarache Ultra Sandals Size 6 Solar Red Neon Pink $100,Nike Air Presto Gpx "camo" Size S 42,5-44,2015 Nike Air Jordan Retro 10 "Paris" Black/Fierce Purple Shoes! Size 11Just Don Jordan Legacy 312 Ghost Green Size 7.5,Brand New Nike LeBron XI 11 Sz 9 South Beach What The ASG MVP Zoom Generation,NIKE AIR FORCE 1 FOAMPOSITE CUP "TRIPLE BLACK" SZ 11 [AH6771-001],NIKE AIR PENNY III (304845 100) SZ: MNS 12NIKE AIR TRAINER 1 MID SP/FRAGMENT WHITE-WHITE-WOLF GREY SZ 10 [806942-110]Nike Women's Free RN Running Shoes,MINT Nike AIR MAX 2012 Womens SZ 7, 38 EUR Black Green Hyper Coral Red,NIKE ZOOM KD11 COOL GREY/WOLF GREY-PURE PLATINUM AO2604-002 NEW 2018,NIKE NIKELAB DUNK LUX RT RICCARDO TISCI GIVENCHY US 8-11,5 sp 841647-010 chukka,1801 Nike SF Air Force 1 Mid Men's Sneakers Sports Shoes 917753-400,Nike Air Force 1 Foamposite CUP Triple Black SZ 9 (AH6771-001)Nike Air Huarache Run Ultra SE Mens 875841-009 White Black Shoes Size 926 New Nike Kobe XI Low Mambacurial Pink Basketball Shoes 836183-635 Size 12Mens Nike Flyknit Racer RARE - 526628 731 - Volt Black Sequoia TrainersNike Womens Juvenate Running Shoes 724979-101-6.5 Wht Sz6.5,Women's Nike Shox Sneakers Black-Snakeskin/Grey 488312-020 Size 8.5,
jordan retro 1 size 8.5,

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.