NASA Updates Juno's Jupiter Mission

In addition to solving the riddle, the researchers discovered that the origin of Jupiter's lightning is very different from what we're used to on our own planet.

"They were recorded in the megahertz as well as gigahertz range, which is what you can find with terrestrial lightning emissions", said Brown.

From the Juno data, researchers detected radio waves that were of much higher frequency and much closer in frequency to Earth's. But this time, according to Shannon Brown, a lead author on the paper, these lightning strikes were able to be recorded in the megahertz range, which is the same we use to measure the radio waves from the lightning experienced on Earth.

"No matter what planet you're on, lightning bolts act like radio transmitters - sending out radio waves when they flash across a sky". Now, reports Charles Q. Choi at Space.com, the Juno spacecraft has taken its own measurements and found that lightning on Jupiter is not as odd as we once thought.

This discovery was backed up in the second article, published by a team of scientists of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, which presented the most famous record collection of lightning with a giant planet.

Juno has provided scientists with valuable scientific data to interpret activities in Jupiter's atmosphere. Our equator receives a much larger slice of this energy than the rest of the planet (that's why it's the hottest bit), meaning air masses above the equator have a lot of energy at their disposal to move around through convection. "Many theories were offered up to explain it, but no one theory could ever get traction as the answer".

Jupiter's turbulent atmosphere is riddled with storms, so it stands to reason there's lightning there too.

Lightning bolts concentrate near Earth's equator and near the poles on Jupiter due to the heat welling up at its maximum on these places. The signals were showing up in the kilohertz band of the electromagnetic spectrum, but not the megahertz range as is the case with Earth lightning. The spacecraft came nearly 50 times closer to the planet than Voyager 1 ever did, flying "closer to Jupiter than any other spacecraft in history", states Juno's principal investigator Scott Bolton from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, who was involved in both studies. Thanks passed to it by the data becomes possible to study the gas giant's atmosphere.

In 2016 the orbit of Jupiter, were sent automatic Interplanetary station "Juno".

Also, the second study on thunderstorms of Jupiter confirms the findings of the first one.

"As we complete the remainder of the orbits in the mission, we'll get a clearer and clearer picture of the distribution of lightning, which maps out moist convective activity on the planet". Because of Jupiter's distance from the sun, it sees 25 times less sunlight than Earth. Earth isn't the only planet in the solar system to have storms that produce lightning.

It also seems that NASA is going to extend Juno's mission until July 2021, much to the excitement of the scientists.

On July 16, NASA's Juno spacecraft is all set to make its 13th science flyby over Jupiter's cloud tops.

Juno's Principle investigator from the South West Research Institute, Scott Bolton, revealed in an email that the orbits are longer than expected and that is why the spacecraft needs more time to collect planned scientific measurements.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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