The Juno spacecraft has seen the first hints of bright flashes of light, called “elves” or “sprites” (illustrated), distinguishable in part on their size, high in Jupiter’s atmosphere.

Jupiter may be the first planet besides Earth known to host atmospheric light shows called “sprites” or “elves.”

Sprites (SN: 6/14/02) and elves (SN: 12/23/95) are two kinds of atmospheric glows that form when lightning alters the electromagnetic environment in the atmosphere above a storm. On Earth, these electromagnetic upsets cause nitrogen molecules in the upper atmosphere to emit a brief, reddish glow. Sprites can brighten a region of the sky tens of kilometers across, while elves can span hundreds of kilometers (SN: 12/21/96).

Scientists suspected these atmospheric phenomena might appear on other planets that crackle with lightning (SN: 6/19/18). But until now, no one had seen hints of sprites or elves on another world.

From 2016 to 2020, the ultraviolet spectrograph on NASA’s Juno spacecraft, in orbit around Jupiter, caught 11 superfast flashes of light across the giant planet. Those flares, reported online October 27 in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, lasted an average 1.4 milliseconds, which is about as fleeting as sprites and elves on Earth. The ultraviolet light was at wavelengths emitted by molecular hydrogen — the type of glow expected of sprites or elves on Jupiter, whose atmosphere is made mostly of hydrogen, rather than nitrogen.

Juno would need to spot a lightning strike at the same place as one of these bright flares to confirm that they actually are sprites or elves, says study coauthor Rohini Giles, a planetary scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. “But there is reasonably good circumstantial evidence,” she says. The flashes originated a few hundred kilometers above Jupiter’s layer of water clouds, where lightning typically forms, and several appeared in known stormy regions.

Observations of these events when Juno is closer to Jupiter may reveal their size, and help determine whether it is sprites or elves (or both) lighting up Jupiter’s atmosphere.

R.S. Giles et al. Possible transient luminous events observed in Jupiter’s upper atmosphere. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets. Published online October 27, 2020. doi: 10.1029/2020JE006659.

Maria Temming is the staff reporter for physical sciences, covering everything from chemistry to computer science and cosmology. She has bachelor’s degrees in physics and English, and a master’s in science writing.

Science News was founded in 1921 as an independent, nonprofit source of accurate information on the latest news of science, medicine and technology. Today, our mission remains the same: to empower people to evaluate the news and the world around them. It is published by Society for Science & the Public, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) membership organization dedicated to public engagement in scientific research and education.

Source: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/jupiter-atmospheric-lights-sprites-elves-earth

Jupiter, Atmosphere, Sprite, Upper-atmospheric lightning

World news – US – Jupiter may host atmospheric ‘sprites’ or ‘elves’ never seen beyond Earth

En s’appuyant sur ses expertises dans les domaines du digital, des technologies et des process , CSS Engineering vous accompagne dans vos chantiers de transformation les plus ambitieux et vous aide à faire émerger de nouvelles idées, de nouvelles offres, de nouveaux modes de collaboration, de nouvelles manières de produire et de vendre.

CSS Engineering s’implique dans les projets de chaque client comme si c’était les siens. Nous croyons qu’une société de conseil devrait être plus que d’un conseiller. Nous nous mettons à la place de nos clients, pour aligner nos incitations à leurs objectifs, et collaborer pour débloquer le plein potentiel de leur entreprise. Cela établit des relations profondes et agréables.

Nos services:

  1. Création des sites web professionnels
  2. Hébergement web haute performance et illimité
  3. Vente et installation des caméras de vidéo surveillance
  4. Vente et installation des système de sécurité et d’alarme
  5. E-Marketing

Toutes nos réalisations ici https://www.css-engineering.com/en/works/

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here