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 Men's Flyknit Free RN Flyknit Men's 2017 Vintage Green/Sequoia 880843 300 Size 10 1a30ee

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 Trainer 1 TEXAS Longhorns sz 13 PE Football Air Max Flyknit Lunar NCAANike Air Jordan 2 Retro Deconstructed SZ 8.5 Black Decon 897521-010Nike Mens Air Jordan XXXI 31 Low Basketball Shoes,Nike Air Presto Essential Mens Running Trainers 848187 Sneakers Shoes 403,USED Nike LEBRON 8 V/2 LOW SPRITE 456849 401 SIZE 10! LOTS OF LIFE LEFT!,NIKE AIR MAX VISION LOW RUNNING SNEAKERS MEN SHOES PEACH 918230-200 SIZE 9.5 NEWNike Zoom Live II men basketball sneakers low NEW racer blue white AH7566-400,NikeLab Dunk Lux Low Arctic Orange White 857587-800 Size 9.5,NIKE AIR MAX 95 BAROQUE BROWN KHAKI 2004 RELEASE SZ 9 * 307255-261 *,Mens NIKE AIR HUARACHE Off White Trainers 318429 107Nike Blazer Low LTHR [AO2788-101] Men Casual Shoes White/Black,Nike SB Stefan Janoski Max Mens 631303-007 Black Skateboarding Shoes Size 9.5,Nike Free RN 2017 Mens 880839-401 Deep Royal Blue White Running Shoes Size 9,Nike Air Max 1 GPX shoes mens new684174 100 sneakers white black,Nike Big Swoosh Gray White Men's Shoes with Side Zip Sz 10 (832759 002),Nike Free Train Force Flyknit Mens Training Shoes Green Black Size 8,Nike Free RN Motion Flyknit Run Multi Color Men Running Shoes Sneaker 834584-006Nike PG 1 Volt Tennis Ball Paul George Basketball Shoes 878627-700 Mens SZ 10.5,Nike Dunk High Pro SB Size 10 GAME ROYAL BLACK New DS T 19 305050 440,Nike Zoom KD9 Texas Longhorns Sail/Sail Basketball 899640-110 Men’s US 10.5NIKE AIR HUARACHE RUN PREMIUM MENS RUNNING SHOES - MENS SIZE 9,Custom Duke Blue Devils Nike Special Forces Air Force 1 high size 11.5,NIKE Alpha Menace Black White Football Cleat 871519 010 - Men 11Nike Men's Air Jordan IV 4 Retro Molded Baseball Cleats Size 10,NEW Mens Sz 7.5 NIKE Air Max Hyperfly 407535 100 White Red Black Sneakers Shoes,NIKE SB ERIC KOSTON RED/OBSIDIAN/GUM BROWN SKATE SHOES 725055 642 Sz 9.5 10.5,Nike air force 1 306353 013 size 12,Gentlemen/Ladies Nike Mercurial Superfly  soccer cleats 1/777 Crazy price Sufficient supply Official websiteNike Magista Obra 2 II Elite FG Grey Black Total Orange SZ US 10.5 (AH7305-080),Mr/Ms Air Jordan 6 Retro, White/Infrared Diverse new design Attractive fashion Outstanding style
Nike SB Dunk Low TRD AR0778-001 Grey/Black/Gum Ultimate Stake boarding Shoes Men,

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.