Shop Windows to the Universe

The Spring 2011 issue of The Earth Scientist is focused on modernizing seismology education. Thanks to IRIS, you can download this issue for free as a pdf. Print copies are available in our online store.
Hubble's image of Jupiter's aurora
Click on image for full size
NASA

Hubble's auroral images of Jupiter
News story originally written on October 17, 1996

Scientists studying Jupiter's auroral regions are using images from Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 to map the planet's immense magnetic field and better understand the auroral phenomena.

Aurorae occur when charged particles (electrons, protons, and positive ions) are trapped in the magnetic field surrounding a planet. Traveling along the magnetic field line towards the north and south poles, they collide with molecules and atoms in the planet's upper atmosphere. These collisions transfer energy, thus exciting the atoms, which in turn release this extra energy in the form of light.

Detailed images from Hubble are allowing scientists to watch small-scale, rapid changes in the auroral intensity and motion, and pinpoint the effects of emissions from Jupiter's moon Io.


Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Our online store includes fun classroom activities for you and your students. Issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist are also full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science!

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Hubble Monitors Weather on Neighboring Planets

"The weather on Mars: another cool and clear day. Low morning haze will give way to a mostly sunny afternoon with high clouds. The forecast for Venus: hot, overcast, sulfuric acid showers will continue....more

Galileo visits Callisto

Early morning on November, 4 1996, NASA's Galileo spacecraft approached to within 686 miles of the stark, crater-smeared Jupiter's moon Callisto. This is the first time that Galileo has approached Callisto,...more

High-altitude ionosphere found at Io by Galileo

Scientists participating in NASA's Galileo mission have discovered that the during its Io fly-by, Galileo spacecraft may have flown through an ionized region, or the ionosphere. This discovery suggests...more

New discoveries at Jupiter's moon Ganymede

NASA's Galileo spacecraft has transmitted back crisp new images of Jupiter's moon Ganymede which show the moon's surface is spotted by comet and and asteroid impact marks. In addition to these findings,...more

Hubble captures Jupiter and Io

NASA'S Hubble Space Telescope has taken a rare joint portrait of Jupiter and its volcanically active moon Io, as the moon passes above the clouds of the giant gas planet. The black spot on Jupiter visible...more

Hubble's auroral images of Jupiter

Scientists studying Jupiter's auroral regions are using images from Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 to map the planet's immense magnetic field and better understand the auroral phenomena. Aurorae...more

Dust storm hits the Martian north pole

The Martian north polar is seen to be besieged by a Texas-sized dust storm. Two Hubble Space Telescope images, taken about a month apart shows this storm sitting at the edge of the north polar cap. It...more

Mars Global Surveyor Update

According to the flight report of January 24, 1997, the Mars Global Surveyor is in good condition and well on its way to the dusty red planet. The Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) was launched from Earth on...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF