Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Aurorae on Jupiter
Posted on 07/10/2016 10:19:57 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Explanation: Jupiter has aurorae. Like Earth, the magnetic field of the gas giant funnels charged particles released from the Sun onto the poles. As these particles strike the atmosphere, electrons are temporarily knocked away from existing gas molecules. Electric force attracts these electrons back. As the electrons recombine to remake neutral molecules, auroral light is emitted. In the featured recently released composite image by the Hubble Space Telescope taken in ultraviolet light, the aurorae appear as annular sheets around the pole. Unlike Earth's aurorae, Jupiter's aurorae include several bright streaks and dots. Jupiter's Great Red Spot is visible on the lower right. Recent aurorae on Jupiter have been particularly strong -- a fortunate coincide with the arrival of NASA's Juno spacecraft at Jupiter last week. Juno was able to monitor the Solar Wind as it approached Jupiter, enabling a better understanding of aurorae in general, including on Earth.
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[Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble]
When my computer does that I hit the side of the monitor. ;-)
I’ve been puzzled by that lopsided aurora since I first saw this picture some days ago.
Anyone have an explanation for why it looks like it’s sliding off Jupiter’s north pole?
The angle of the picture might be higher than a picture from from the plane on.
The circular pattern of the aurora should be at the same angle as the stripes on Jupiter, but they’re not.
The latidudinal angle is all wrong.
Perhaps the planet’s magnetic poles are offset from the angle of its rotation. That would explain it.
So where are the pictures from Juno?
That is beautiful!
Earth is a bit out of plumb, too. TRUE North and Magnetic North are a number of degrees apart.
Hubble. The only image I’ve seen from Juno was one of Jupiter, Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto take shortly before orbit insertion.
Yes. I know. Hubble. But where are the Juno pictures? We did spend a billion dollars on Juno. I realize Juno is doing more than just taking pictures. But still, it’s been in orbit around Jupiter since July 4. Maybe it’s around the far side right now and we’ll get pictures later.
That is SO cool! :-)
“Yes, the magnetic pole is different than the north pole. It is different on earth...”
Yes, I’m aware that Earth’s magnetic north differs from its true north, and assumed that’s true for many other planets.
It makes sense that the aurora on Jupiter would conform to the field lines of its magnetic field.
Thanks for the image.
Like I said the picture isn’t from the equator on.
“Like I said the picture isnt from the equator on.”
It’s close enough to an equatorial view that you can easily see difference between the planetary angle of rotation and the angle of the aurora.
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