But the radio signals slightly differed from what researchers have recorded on Earth, raising questions about the nature of lightning on Jupiter. When NASA sent its Voyager 1 spacecraft on its trip through our Solar System, its flyby of Jupiter revealed that Jupiter does indeed have lightning, but it wasn't producing the same kinds of radio signals that scientists are familiar with from lightning here on Earth.
"Also, our microwave and plasma wave instruments are state-of-the-art, allowing us to pick out even weak lightning signals from the cacophony of radio emissions from Jupiter". In line with its tweet on its NASA Juno mission, NASA is taking long strides to keep its mission in place, and all we can say, as is posted in the tweet, "Just keep spinning, just keep spinning..."
An artist's impression of lightning bolts in the northern hemisphere of Jupiter. Researchers analysed more than 1,600 "whistlers"-emissions linked to the phenomena-captured by Juno in a Nature Astronomy paper also published Wednesday".
Lightning on Jupiter has always been something of a mystery.
"There is a lot of activity near Jupiter's poles but none near the equator", Brown said. But Jupiter gets most of its energy from inside itself, with the Sun contributing one 25th as much energy than on Earth due to the giant planet's great distance.
Data from everyone's favourite Jupiter probe has revealed that, contrary to previous measurements, the gas giant's lightning does occur in megahertz frequencies, and occurs much more frequently than thought - but it also seems to be localised to the planet's poles. But when the venerable explorer hurtled by, the data showed that the lightning-associated radio signals didn't match the details of the radio signals produced by Earth's lightning. In the release, Brown explains a possible reason behind the discrepancy: "We think the reason we are the only ones who can see it is because Juno is flying closer to the lighting than ever before, and we are searching at a radio frequency that passes easily through Jupiter's ionosphere". Before Juno - which has been orbiting Jupiter since the summer of 2016 and has more sensitive instruments than older probes - the lightning on Jupiter was only recorded in the kilohertz range. The little craft that could will continue to beam back new insights about the gas giant through 2021. 2018. Prevalent lightning sferics at 600 megahertz near Jupiter's poles.
Lightning on Jupiter is believed to originate from electrical interactions between water droplets and ice particles, similar to how lightning happens on Earth.
Heat drives lightning, and the sun's rays cause Earth's equator to heat up more than the poles. After two years of orbit, Juno remained operationally healthy, extending its mission to another three years.
The decision to fund the Juno mission through fiscal year 2022 was made after an "independent panel of experts" ruled that it was on track to "achieve its science objectives and is already returning spectacular results".
"To really understand Jupiter, you need to map it", said Scott Bolton, principal investigator and associate vice president at the Southwest Research Institute.