It’s usually very strange and unusual for a very gassy planet to produce x-rays. However, thanks to recent research, we now know that Jupiter is not part of that habit. Still, how is it possible for the planet to create these x-rays and moreover, why does it create them? Some space telescopes belonging to both NASA and the European Space Agency have noticed that Jupiter indeed emits some x-rays into the atmosphere. This strange phenomenon causes some beautiful auroras at its poles.
They actually resemble the aurora borealis we have on Earth. What’s stranger is that its neighbor, Saturn, which is also a gas planet and very close, does not emit those x-rays. Moreover, each pole of Jupiter pulses completely differently than the other. The fact that their frequencies are different amazed experts, who have never seen such behavior on a planet. The journal Nature Astronomy published the new study.
Jupiter and its fascinating auroras
It appears that the southern pole auroras pulse every 11 minutes, whereas the northern pole ones pulse inconsistently and at unusual times. According to William Dunn, the lead author of this study, it’s bizarre that Jupiter’s auroras, which shouldn’t even exist, do not coordinate with each other, as they do here on Earth. Normally, the planet’s magnetic field should synchronize these auroras, but it seems like this phenomenon doesn’t happen here.
Auroras appear when electrically charged particles collide with the atmosphere of a planet. The same thing happens on Earth. When the sun emits those particles, they go through our electric field and hit the molecules in the atmosphere.
It seems like what’s happening on Jupiter is a little more mysterious. The particles would have to collide with its atmosphere at unimaginable fast speeds to create those x-rays. More research is needed, but it’s clear that the northern and southern poles have their own, separate activity.
Image source: wikimedia
Latest posts by Anne-Marie Jackson (see all)
- SF Hospital Slaps New Parents with $19K Bill for Baby Treatment - Jun 29, 2018
- Furious Trump Blasts Harley-Davidson for Moving Production Overseas - Jun 28, 2018
- Warning! MRI Machines Could Poison You - Jun 27, 2018