Auroras on Jupiter
The Jupiter auroras observed by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope are some of the most active and brightest ever caught by Hubble.
As on Earth, auroras are produced by the interaction of a planet’s magnetic field with its atmosphere.
The ones on the giant planet reaching intensities over a thousand times brighter than those seen on Earth. Hubble captures the glow of the auroras above Jupiter’s cloud top.
Auroras are formed when charged particles in the space surrounding the planet are accelerated to high energies along the planet’s magnetic field. When the particles hit the atmosphere near the magnetic poles, they cause it to glow like gases in a fluorescent light fixture. Jupiter’s magnetosphere is 20,000 times stronger than Earth’s. These observations will reveal how the solar system’s largest and most powerful magnetosphere behaves.
Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Nichols (University of Leicester), and G. Bacon (STScI)