Scientists have previously assumed their presence in Jupiter’s atmosphere, which is distinguished by its massive and turbulent nature, and since 2016 NASA’s small probe Juno has been orbiting the gas giant and collecting data, and thanks to a UV spectrophotometer installed on the probe, the NASA team succeeded in proving the presence of the flashes, and the discovery was documented in A paper recently published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Plants.
“The spectroscope instrument was designed to characterize the north and south pole lights on the planet. Thanks to it, we took pictures of the aurora, as well as a bright flash of ultraviolet radiation where we never expected,” said Rohini Giles, a scientist at the Juno probe and lead author of the research.
“And after carefully examining these flashes, we concluded that the Juno probe detected passing luminous events on Jupiter.”
These flashes represent transient light events that we are witnessing on Earth as well. According to the scientist, we witness them either in the form of “lightning sprites”, which are large-scale electrical charges that occur over thunderstorms, or in the form of emissions from light and very low-frequency orbital disturbances resulting from sources of electromagnetic pulses, They appear in the form of huge halos of light 100 km above thunderstorms, and appear red as a result of the interaction with nitrogen in the upper atmosphere.
However, these exceptional events appear on other planets in different ways. On Jupiter, the atmosphere is composed mainly of hydrogen, which makes the events blue or pink.
Rohini said, “Now that we have observed events on Jupiter, it will be easier for us to monitor them on other planets, to compare them with what is happening on Earth, which helps us to better understand the electrical activities in other shells.”