October 24, 2021

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Mystery of Jupiter’s powerful X-ray auroras finally solved

3 min read

Mysterious flares of X-rays from Jupiter’s auroras suggest that the giant planet’s “northern lights” may possess unexpected similarities with those of Earth, a new study finds. 

Auroras, the shimmering displays of radiance known as the northern or southern lights on Earth, are seen above the poles of a number of planets across the solar system. These dancing lights are produced when energetic particles from the sun or other celestial bodies slam into a planet’s magnetosphere — the area controlled by a world’s magnetic field — and flow down its magnetic field lines to collide with molecules in its atmosphere. 

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