Green Lightning on Jupiter! Here are the Shots From Nasa

1 min


In a jaw-dropping event, a NASA spacecraft captured a stunning photo from Jupiter that has left countless people astounded. The image reveals an eerie scene with neon green lightning taking the shape of a glowing orb. As if that’s not captivating enough, the space agency has provided an explanation regarding the peculiar color of the lightning bolt.

© NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS, Image processing by Kevin M. Gill, CC BY

This extraordinary photo was taken during NASA’s Juno mission on December 30, 2020. As the spacecraft completed its 31st close flyby of Jupiter, it fortuitously encountered a vortex near the planet’s north pole. The JunoCam, strategically positioned at an altitude of 19,900 miles (32,000 kilometers) above Jupiter’s cloud tops, successfully captured both the mesmerizing vortex and the enigmatic green orb featured within it. Subsequent analysis by NASA specialists has conclusively confirmed that the green orb is, in fact, a dazzling display of lightning.

© Richard Valdez / Alamy Stock Photo

The fascinating image, however, remained unprocessed until the year 2022 when it caught the attention of a “citizen scientist” named Kevin M. Gill, earning him recognition from NASA. Adding to the excitement, NASA recently divulged that Juno’s orbits are designed to bring it closer to Jupiter’s night side, presenting a multitude of opportunities to capture more instances of the planet’s lightning on camera.

While green lightning bolts also occur on Earth, they often remain concealed within clouds, limiting the chances of witnessing them firsthand. In stark contrast, Jupiter’s lightning is an entirely different spectacle from what transpires on our home planet. According to NASA, Earth’s lightning bolts primarily stem from water clouds and are more commonly observed near the equator. On the majestic Jupiter, the phenomenon takes root “in clouds containing an ammonia-water solution” and most frequently manifests near the poles, making it a striking phenomenon unique to the gas giant.



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