Juno Mission's Death Plunge Put Off by NASA

Rodiano Bonacci
Giugno 9, 2018

That extraordinary encounter affirmed the existence of the theory of Nasa's scientists of Jovian lighting.

In a pair of studies published on June 6, scientists from the Juno mission describe the radio emissions coming from Jovian lightning - dubbed "whistlers" on account of their descending whistling pitch, which sounds a lot like a falling bomb - as well as the novel frequencies at which they were picked up by the spacecraft still in orbit around the gas giant.

The Article from NASA to Extend Juno Jupiter's Mission by Three Years. Although, in some ways, the two types of lightning are polar opposites.

"No matter what planet you're on, lightning bolts act like radio transmitters - sending out radio waves when they flash across a sky", said lead study author Shannon Brown, who is a Juno scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

The mystery remained unsolved for nearly 40 years because every spacecraft that flew by Jupiter during this period - Voyagers 1 and 2, Galileo, Cassini - recorded radio waves that didn't match those produced by lightning on Earth.

In 2016 the orbit of Jupiter, were sent automatic Interplanetary station "Juno". Second, it had onboard the Microwave Radiometer Instrument (MWR) - a much more sophisticated radio receiver, that operates over a wide band of the radio spectrum.

The Juno data also has shed light on why lightning tends to occur only at high latitudes on Jupiter while they are common in the equatorial tropics on Earth.

"They were recorded in the megahertz as well as gigahertz range, which is what you can find with terrestrial lightning emissions", said Brown. However, although the data obtained by NASA spacecraft with Jupiter pointed out, of course, the presence of lightning storms, the scientists noted that it is much different from what happens on Earth. Analysis of the radio spectrum indicated that one source of these transmissions were lightning bolts arcing through the Jovian atmosphere, a billion times more powerful than those on Earth. This, in spite of Jupiter's equator playing host to the solar system's largest, most ferocious storm. On Earth, warm, moist air around the equator fuels thunderstorms and in turn lightening, but on Jupiter warm air rises at the planet's poles due to their lack of atmospheric stability.

This causes warm most air to rise most freely at the equator, powering huge lightning storms. Because of Jupiter's distance from the sun, it sees 25 times less sunlight than Earth. Most of the Jupiter's heat is generated within the planet itself, NASA notes, and heats its equator more than the poles.

"These findings could help to improve our understanding of the composition, circulation and energy flows on Jupiter", says Brown. But another question looms.

An artist's impression of lightning bolts in the atmosphere if Jupiter. Researchers analysed more than 1,600 "whistlers"-emissions linked to the phenomena-captured by Juno in a Nature Astronomy paper also published Wednesday". The data set of more than 1,600 signals, collected by Juno's Waves instrument, is nearly 10 times the number recorded by Voyager 1.

"NASA has approved Juno to continue through 2022 to finish all of our originally planned science", Scott Bolton, Juno's principle investigator from the Southwest Research Institute, told Gizmodo.

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