Jupiter, as far as it is from our surface, is also our older brother in the solar system. It has an extensive size that also makes it the largest planet that orbits the Sun. Consequently, it is an object that is under constant study by NASA through Juno. And thanks to the space probe, space agency researchers could have captured images of lightning spectra.
The lightning spectra are the translation to the name that scientists gave it in English: sprites. On Earth, they are captured through images of satellites and radars with a red color. Also, according to the Slash Gear portal, they occur on top of thunderstorms.
With various pieces of data in hand, about what happens in Jupiter’s atmosphere, scientists had theorized that lightning spectra could occur over the orbit of the gas giant. Yet they had never been caught. So in mid-2019, they captured the first.
They obviously didn’t release the information at the time as it had to be confirmed. Consequently, they began to review the data of the images of the last 4 years that Juno has taken on Jupiter. And finally, they determined that lightning spectra occur over the gas giant. However, they were not identified with the color red, but with blue.
Capturing lightning spectra in photographic images is very difficult. However, there are some recreations and captures made from the International Space Station. This phenomenon is an extremely powerful electric discharge, but at the same time very fleeting. In the region of Jupiter that they were detected, they had previously had lightning records. So it was a matter of time before this phenomenon became known.
“In the process of putting those images together, we noticed that very occasionally we would see these bright, surprising, short-lived flashes. Then, we looked through all the data that we collected over the four years of the mission and found a total of 11 flashes, all with properties very similar “, said Rohini Giles, scientist of Juno and also the main author of the results of the investigation, according to review the portal EarthSky.