December 8, 2023

Brighton Journal

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A NASA spacecraft captures a glowing green blob on Jupiter caused by a lightning bolt

A NASA spacecraft captures a glowing green blob on Jupiter caused by a lightning bolt

Image of Jupiter taken by NASA JunoCam A bright green point appears at the north pole of the planet. The glowing orb turned out to be a lightning bolt, NASA says.

While lightning on Earth often comes from water clouds near the equator, clouds containing an ammonia solution and water often cause lighting near Jupiter’s poles, according to NASA.

Juno Its mission has begun on Jupiter in 2016 and orbited the planet 35 times, capturing images and data. the Pictures were taken by spacecraft to the public by NASA for downloading and processing.

An image of Jupiter taken by NASA’s JunoCam shows a bright green blob on the planet’s north pole. NASA says the glowing orb is a bolt of light.


Juno captured the image of the lightning strike on December 30, 2020, when it was 19,900 miles above the cloud tops of Jupiter. It was handled by Kevin M. Gill, who NASA calls a “citizen scientist.”

Lightning also occurs on other planets. In 1979, another spacecraft called Voyager 1 caught lightning flashes on Jupiter 10 times more powerful than lightning on Earth, According to NASA. On Saturn, lightning can strike up to 10 times per second.

Data from the Mars Global Surveyor did not capture information on lightning, but there have been bright flashes during dust storms and some scientists believe craters on Mars may have been caused by lightning.

The initial Juno mission was supposed to last five years, but NASA has extended it to 2025. The spacecraft has captured information about Jupiter’s internal structure, internal magnetic field, atmosphere, magnetosphere, and dust in its faint rings and Great Blue Spot, Which is an intense magnetic field near the planet’s equator.

Juno also flies close to Jupiter’s moons, which are surrounded by doughnut-shaped clouds, which the spacecraft will fly across.

Earlier this year, it was announced 12 new moons have been discovered in Jupiter’s atmosphere by astronomers. The moons were seen by telescopes located in Hawaii and Chile in 2021 and 2022. The planet now has a record number of 92 moons.

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