NASA’s Ouno spacecraft captured images of colored lightning-like explosions of electricity high up in Jupiter’s atmosphere.
These phenomena, which include jellyfish-shaped “goblins” and glowing disks called “dwarfs” (referring to creatures in Norse and German mythology that possess magical powers), also occur in the Earth’s upper atmosphere during thunderstorms.
Such phenomena were first documented in 1989. Scientists expected that other lightning planets, such as Jupiter, would also create these illuminated events.
But no one has ever seen alien goblins or elves.
Ono has been orbiting Jupiter since 2016 and collecting images of the aurora in ultraviolet light. A team of scientists who recently processed these images noticed something strange.
“During the process of collecting these images, we noticed that we sometimes see these sudden, short-lived flashes of light,” Rohini Ilesiles, an ouno team researcher with the Department, told a news conference Tuesday. for Planetary Science of the American Astronomical Society.
“Then we went and looked at all the data we took during the four-year mission and discovered a total of 11 flashes with very similar characteristics,” she added.
Each of these eruptions lasted several milliseconds. The iSiles team published a new study of these flashes in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, on Tuesday, October 27th.
On the ground, the scrolls appear as long red shoots (spiral-shaped plant organ), sometimes hanging down from a diffuse aura.
It occurs when lightning strikes produce an “almost electrostatic field” at high altitudes, the Isles said.
In other cases, lightning strikes send electromagnetic pulses. The impulses produce glowing disks called elvis.
“On Earth, goblins and dwarfs appear red because of their interaction with nitrogen in the upper atmosphere. But on Jupiter, the upper atmosphere is mostly hydrogen, so they are likely to appear either blue or pink,” Gills said.
Ono could not confirm that these events were caused by lightning strikes, as the probe’s lightning detector is located on the other side of the spacecraft from the ultraviolet imaging device. Images are taken by both devices at intervals of at least 10 seconds, which is a very long delay to capture the same short flash of light.
But the rest of the work suggests that these 11 eruptions were transient light events: very short-lived, emitting a lot of hydrogen and occurring 300 km above the water clouds of Jupiter, too high to be lightning fast.
“We keep looking for more signs of elves and goblins every time I go through science,” he explained. “Now that we know what we are looking for, it will be easier to find them on Jupiter and other planets. Compare goblins and dwarfs from one planet.” “Jupiter with those on Earth will help us better understand the electrical activity in the planets’ atmosphere.”
Source: Business Insider