Vivid glowing auroras in Jupiter's atmosphere! Astronomers are using the Hubble Space Telescope to study auroras - stunning light shows in a planet's atmosphere - on the poles of the largest planet in the solar system, Jupiter.
Auroras are created when high-energy particles enter a planet's atmosphere near its magnetic poles and collide with atoms of gas. As well as producing beautiful images, this program aims to determine how various components of Jupiter's auroras respond to different conditions in the solar wind, a stream of charged particles ejected from the sun.
Bright auroras on Jupiter! This composite video illustrates the auroras on Jupiter relative to their position on the giant planet. As on Earth, auroras are produced by the interaction of a planet's magnetic field with its atmosphere. The Jupiter auroras observed by our Hubble Space Telescope are some of the most active and brightest ever caught by Hubble, reaching intensities over a thousand times brighter than those seen on Earth. Hubble's sensitivity to ultraviolet light captures the glow of the auroras above Jupiter's cloud top. Fourth of July, our solar-powered Juno spacecraft will arrive at Jupiter after an almost five-year journey. In the evening of July 4, Juno will perform a suspenseful orbit insertion maneuver. Once in Jupiter’s orbit, the spacecraft will circle the Jovian world 37 times during 20 months, skimming to within 3,100 miles (5,000 km) above the cloud tops. This is the first time a spacecraft will orbit the poles of Jupiter, providing new answers to ongoing mysteries about the planet’s core, composition and magnetic fields. Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Nichols (University of Leicester), and G. Bacon (STScI) #nasa #space #hubble #hst #astronomy #jupiter #juno #science #planet #nasabeyond #solarsystem
NASA's Jupiter-bound Juno spacecraft has entered the planet's magnetosphere, where the movement of particles in space is controlled by what is going on inside Jupiter.
Juno is on course to swing into orbit around Jupiter on July 4. Science instruments on board detected changes in the particles and fields around the spacecraft as it passed from an environment dominated by the interplanetary solar wind into Jupiter's magnetosphere.