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This is an image of the aurora of Jupiter.
Click on image for full size
NASA

Jupiter's Aurora

Jupiter's aurora is a very powerful source of energy. It produces much more power (about a million MegaWatts) than the Earth's aurora (about 1000 MegaWatts). For comparison, a large city uses about 10,000 MegaWatts. This energy can sometimes have a significant impact on the atmosphere.

Unlike the Earth, the Jovian aurora is thought to come from two places, from the moon Io, and from currents carrying particles from somewhere deeper in Jupiter's magnetotail.

Scientists are still studying Jupiter's aurora to understand it completely. The streams of particles responsible for the aurora are thought to create radio noises called "DAM". On Earth, it is "Hiss" which is thought to occur when particles are being forced to enter the auroral zone. Jupiter's magnetosphere is far different from the Earth's, so scientists studying the aurora of Jupiter look for DAM as proof of how the aurora is created.


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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA