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

2005 Nike Air Jordan 14 XIV Retro Mens Size Black 10 Black Size Toe Varsity Red Black White 097c49

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 Air Jordan XX 20 Black Stealth Varsity Red SZ 10.5 ( 310455-002 ),Nike Air Jordan 11 XI Retro Low Barons, Size 11, Black White, 528895-010,2017 Nike Air Jordan 2 II Retro Decon Bordeaux Size 12.5. 897521-606 psny suede,New Air Jordan Retro VII 7 Magic Sz 13 DMPNike Air Jordan 11 Win Like 82 XI Retro Midnight Navy White 378037 123,Nike LeBron 13 XIII Doernbecher DB Size 13. 838989-805 all star bhm what theAir Max 97 Cool Grey Black Patent Size 11.5 (921826-010),Nike Air VaporMax Flyknit Utility 'Racer Blue' AH6834-402 Size 9,Mens Black Nike Shox NZ PA Running Shoes Size 11.5Jordan 11 Cap and Gown,Nike Kobe 9 IX Elite BHM size 9.5. 704304-010. asg X 10 beethoven prelude FTB,Nike Air Command Force sz 11.5 Hoyle 10.5 Max 1 95 90 Ultramarine 180 270 dunk,Nike Air Foamposite One Eggplant Size 12 314996-008,Nike Lab Zoom Hyperrev Fragment 26.5cm from japan (5768,Nike Air Jordan 11 Retro Win Like 96 DS 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 SportsLocker 378037-623,Nike Zoom Victory Elite Oregon Ducks Yellow Track Spikes Size 12 (920768-703)Nike Air VaporMax '95 "Volt" AJ7292-001,Nike Air Jordan 1 High Chameleon ALL STAR GAME 2017 bred SBB royal top 3 bannedNike Air Max 90 Laser "AIR MAX CON NYC" - 032616 212,Nike SB x Black Sheep Dunk High TRD QS DS Size 10 W/ LIMITED BOX 881758 110,Nike CR7 Air Force 1 Low Golden Patchwork Size 13 Gold White AQ0666-100 New,Nike Air Tech Challenge II SP Australian Open WHITE VIVID BLUE 621358-100 SZ 6.5Mens size 13 Basketball Nike Air Jordan Legend Blue 11,Air Jordan 3 Retro Fire Red 2013 Brand New Sz 10,Nike Air Vapormax Plus Triple Black 2018 Men's Sz: 10Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG "Royal" 2017 US 7.5 10 11 New 555088-007 BredNike Air Kyrie 1 I Brotherhood Black Royal White Sneakers Men's Size 10 NewNike ACRONYM AIR PRESTO Mid Dynamic Yellow Men's Size 6 *IN HAND*2018 Nike Air Jordan 3 III Retro OG Black Cement Size 9. 854262-001,Nike Air Foamposite Pro Pine Green 2011 DS size 9.5
Nike Air Max Penny 1 Lil Penny Sneaker Men's Lifestyle Shoes,

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.