Scientists have figured out how auroras on Jupiter affect the planet

The new study sheds light on the mystery of Jupiter’s “energy crisis” that has haunted astronomers for decades.

An international team of scientists has identified the mechanism that underlies the heating of Jupiter’s atmosphere. To do this, they used data from the Keck Observatory in Hawaii and eventually created a global but detailed map of the gas giant’s upper atmosphere. In the course of the study, they confirmed for the first time that the powerful auroras of Jupiter are responsible for heating the entire planet.

By the way, scientists have long tried to create a global heat map of the upper atmosphere of Jupiter, but the available signals did not provide enough information. Thanks to modern technology, they finally succeeded.

They found not only that temperatures start very high within the aurora, but that heat from the planet itself plays a big role in this. So, on Jupiter, equatorial heating is directly related to the aurora.

As you know, they appear when charged particles are in the magnetic field of the planet. Then they move in a spiral along the lines of force to the magnetic poles of the planet, striking atoms and molecules in the atmosphere, releasing light and energy. While on Earth, such processes lead to spectacular auroras, on the gas giant, because of this, the planet heats up. It is worth noting that Jupiter’s auroras are the brightest in the solar system.

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Alexandr Ivanov earned his Licentiate Engineer in Systems and Computer Engineering from the Free International University of Moldova. Since 2013, Alexandr has been working as a freelance web programmer.
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Alexandr Ivanov

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