Recently a new study Shown Jupiter’s aurorae can be very similar to Earth’s aurorae. Auroras are natural phenomena that form at the poles of some planets in our solar system. These lights are generated when solar winds hit the planet’s magnetosphere and some of those ions hit the atoms of the planet’s atmosphere.
Jupiter’s magnetic field is 20,000 times stronger than Earth’s, so its magnetosphere is many times larger. If Jupiter’s magnetosphere were visible at night, we would see that it covers areas many times the size of the Earth. For this reason, Jupiter’s aurorae are much more powerful than terrestrial aurorae, and their released energy is in the range of a few hundred gigawatts. This energy is enough to make all of humanity needless for a short time.
Jupiter’s aurorae emit abnormal X-rays. These rays are created by the collision of solar ions with the sulfur and oxygen atoms of Jupiter’s moon Io. Jupiter’s X-rays work like clockwork. Each sends regular pulses every few minutes.
The exact mechanism of this phenomenon has not been known for 40 years. To solve this problem, NASA researchers sent the Juno spacecraft to Jupiter. Meanwhile, the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton Space Telescope was examining Jupiter’s aurorae in Earth orbit.
Scientists have found that X-rays of the aurorae are produced by regular oscillations in the lines of Jupiter’s magnetic field. These oscillations produce a wave of plasma on a planetary scale. This plasma wave directs heavy ions along the magnetic field lines to hit the atmosphere and release energy. This energy is released in the form of an electromagnetic wave along the X-ray wavelength.
Similar plasma waves make up the Earth’s aurorae. Although Jupiter is larger than Earth in every way, the mechanism that creates Jupiter’s aurorae is quite similar to the mechanism that forms Earth’s aurorae. Such a clue could suggest a global process for aurorae in space.
However, we still do not know why Jupiter’s magnetic field lines fluctuate regularly. The reaction of the magnetic field with solar winds or high-velocity plasma currents in the Jupiter’s magnetosphere is likely to cause such oscillations.