Astronomers have solved the mystery of Jupiters powerful auroras

23.03.2005

23.03.2005


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Elzner Ron (Ron Elsner) and his colleagues at the Marshall Space Center (Marshall Space Flight Center) published a study sheds light on the nature of the most powerful auroras of Jupiter.

The study was based on data from the joint observations of two orbiting telescopes — Chandra (X-rays) and Hubble (in the ultraviolet), made in 2003.

Auroras on Jupiter is a thousand times more powerful than the earth. And their main source different from the source of auroras on Earth and even — on Saturn.

In the latter cases, lights produce high-energy solar wind particles — ions, burst into the planet's atmosphere, breaking their "magnetic protection", in moments of solar storms.

And on Jupiter, as it turned out, the solar wind does not play a big role in the creation of auroras (it is shown that they are very weak ultraviolet radiation), but also partly responsible for them.

There are mainly operates another mehanihm. Radiance produce oxygen (and other elements), devoid of most of its electron shell caught in the magnetic trap, high above the atmosphere of Jupiter, accelerated to enormous speeds and "collapsed" into the atmosphere at the poles.

The cause of these ions — strong magnetic field of the planet, its rapid rotation, and the main thing — the presence of the supplier of various particles — volcanically active moon Io.

That is why the auroras on Jupiter are almost always independent of the solar activity. That is why the polar regions of Jupiter, scientists record the electrical currents in the earth hundreds of times more powerful than lightning.

These flows produce powerful X-ray radiation, which allows to analyze Jupiter's auroras.

21.03.2005

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