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Jupiter is struck by light­ning

a very pe­cu­liar phe­nom­e­non: flew past Jupiter in March 1979 it ob­served

When NASA’s Voy­ager 1 space­craft by light­ning weren’t ob­served

for cen­turies, the ra­dio sig­nals pro­duced light­ning. Al­though it had been the­o­rised pro­duced on Earth.

sig­nals didn’t match the ra­dio sig­nals un­til this flyby. How­ever, the light­ning-as­so­ci­ated

– send­ing out ra­dio waves when they light­ning bolts act like ra­dio trans­mit­ters

“No mat­ter what planet you’re on,

in Pasadena, Cal­i­for­nia, United States, of NASA’s Jet Propul­sion Lab­o­ra­tory flash across a sky,” said Shan­non Brown

space­craft [Voy­agers 1 and 2, Galileo, all the light­ning sig­nals recorded by also a Juno sci­en­tist. “But, un­til Juno,

of the ra­dio spec­trum, de­spite a search de­tec­tions or from the kilo­hertz range

Cassini] were lim­ited to ei­ther vis­ual ever get

ex­plain it, but no one the­ory could

Many the­o­ries were of­fered up to for sig­nals in the mega­hertz range. trac­tion as the an­swer.” able to de­duce that a lot of ac­tiv­ity

In­stru­ment (MWR), as­tronomers were

Us­ing Juno’s Mi­crowave Ra­diome­ter

near the equa­tor. This tells as­tronomers Earth where light­ning tends to oc­cur came from Jupiter’s poles, un­like on

air to rise, which is needed to pro­duce the Jo­vian equa­tor to al­low warm that there is not enough heat­ing at at­mos­pheres of plan­ets beyond our own.

ex­cit­ing new mech­a­nisms within the light­ning. Re­sults like these can in­fer

‘Wave trains’ shift across the Jo­vian sur­face

ago and Juno has once again fol­lowed up on the ob­ser­va­tions of the Voy­ager mis­sions al­most 40 years

JunoCam pro­vided a more metic­u­lous anal­y­sis of a strange phe­nom­e­non on Jupiter. This time the on­board

known as ‘wave has ob­served mas­sive streams of waves ap­pear­ing in the at­mos­phere of Jupiter; these are

the waves. trains’ and can re­veal a lot about the dy­nam­ics of Jupiter’s at­mos­phere and its struc­ture be­low

“JunoCam has counted more dis­tinct wave trains than any other space­craft mis­sion since Voy­ager,"

United said Glenn Or­ton, a Juno sci­en­tist from NASA's Jet Propul­sion Lab­o­ra­tory in Pasadena, Cal­i­for­nia,

have a

States. "The trains, which con­sist of as few as two waves and as many as sev­eral dozen, can

miles [1,223 dis­tance be­tween crests as small as about 40 miles [65 kilo­me­tres] and as large as about 760

of one wave kilo­me­tres]. The shadow of the wave struc­ture in one im­age al­lowed us to es­ti­mate the height to be about six-miles [ten-kilo­me­tres] high.”

Sci­en­tists are still analysing the data, but it's thought that the up-and-down mo­tion of at­mo­spheric

dis­tur­bance, grav­ity waves causes these rip­ples, mostly likely brought to the sur­face through some in­ter­nal such as a thun­der­storm up­draft.

Jupiter in­volved in an an­cient skir­mish

Sys­tem as it or­bits the Sun. In front and Jupiter has a few fol­low­ers in the So­lar

of as­ter­oids known as the Tro­jans, which be­hind of Jupiter’s or­bit are two groups

– known as Lagrange points – be­tween are stuck in the grav­i­ta­tional park­ing spots the Sun and Jupiter.

In­sti­tute (SwRI) in San An­to­nio, Now re­searchers at the South­west Re­search

Tro­jan as­ter­oids and found ev­i­dence that Texas, United States have stud­ied these

with Jupiter a big player in it. an an­cient plan­e­tary shake-up oc­curred,

a dra­matic pe­riod of dy­namic

“The Tro­jans were likely cap­tured dur­ing

So­lar Sys­tem’s gi­ant plan­ets – Jupiter, in­sta­bil­ity when a skir­mish be­tween the

said SwRI sci­en­tist Dr David Nesvorny. Saturn, Uranus and Nep­tune – oc­curred,”

Belt were scat­tered in­wards, and a “Many small bod­ies of this pri­mor­dial Kuiper

as­ter­oids.” few of those be­came trapped as Tro­jan

Pa­tro­clus and Me­noetius, as­tronomers By study­ing a rare bi­nary as­teroid called

Uranus and Nep­tune out to their vast sug­gest that this plan­e­tary shake-up threw

out to the Kuiper belt re­gion and cre­ated or­bits, threw a num­ber of small bod­ies

them. the Pa­tro­clus-Me­noetius bi­nary seen be­fore

The in­sta­bil­ity among the gi­ant plan­ets would have oc­curred within the first 100 mil­lion years of the for­ma­tionof the So­lar Sys­tem

Three waves were spot­ted just north of Jupiter’s equa­tor

Juno data in­di­cates that the ma­jor­ity of ac­tiv­ity oc­curs near its poles

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