NASA’s Juno mission discovered new auroral emissions on Jupiter, which appeared to produce ripples on the poles of the Earth.
The ultraviolet spectrometer (UVS) on the Juno spacecraft captured this luminescence, which is characterized by a weak ring-shaped emission that rapidly expands over time at a speed of 2 to 4.8 miles per second (3.3 to 7.7 kilometers per second) . A statement from the institute said that researchers from the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), where Juno’s UVS instrument is located, believe that these auroral emissions are triggered by charged particles from the edge of Jupiter’s giant magnetosphere.
The study’s lead author, Vincent Hue, said in a statement: “We believe that these newly discovered weak ultraviolet signatures are millions of miles away from Jupiter, close to the border between Jupiter and the solar wind. “Solar wind is generated by the sun. Supersonic flow of emitted charged particles. When they reach Jupiter, they interact with its magnetosphere in a way that is not yet known. “
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Just like on Earth, the aurora on Jupiter is connected to the charged particles in the planet’s magnetosphere. However, Jupiter’s magnetosphere is 20,000 times stronger than Earth, which means that the gas giant can deflect the incident solar wind to a distance of up to 4 million miles (6 million kilometers).
Statement by Bertrand Bonfang, the co-author of the research report of the University of Liège in Belgium.
The charged particles recorded by Juno’s UVS instrument appear to be emitted from the periphery of the magnetosphere, where the plasma generated by the solar wind interacts with the Jovian plasma. In turn, this interaction may excite ring features, the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability, which will propagate along Jupiter’s magnetic field lines. Or, according to the statement, the newly detected auroral feature may be the result of a daytime magnetic field reconnection event, during which the interplanetary magnetic field converges, rearranges and reconnects.
Thomas Greathouse, co-author of the SwRI study, said in a statement: “Although decades of observations from the Earth have been combined with measurements from a large number of in-situ spacecraft, scientists still do not fully understand the effects of the solar wind. Regulate the role of Jupiter’s auroral emission.”. “Jupiter’s magnetospheric dynamics is the movement of charged particles in its magnetosphere, which is largely controlled by Jupiter’s 10-hour rotation, which is the fastest in the solar system. The role of the solar wind is still under debate.”
Therefore, the researchers believe that further research is needed to fully understand the process that produces these newly detected annular emissions. With NASA’s Juno mission recently extended to 2025, researchers hope to study Jupiter’s auroral characteristics in more detail.
Their findings were published in the March 9th issue of “Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics.”
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