June 12, 2024



Decades-old mystery solved: Scientists now know how Jupiter produces its X-ray auroras

CTV News

By Tom Yun

July 9, 2021

A new study led by researchers based in the U.K. and China has figured out how Jupiter produces its own version of the aurora borealis, finally solving a 40-year-old mystery.

Four decades ago, astronomers discovered that Jupiter produces bursts of X-ray flares every few minutes. Much like the northern lights and southern lights on Earth, Jupiter’s X-ray auroras would occur at the planet’s north and south poles.

The research team that was led by University College London and the Chinese Academy of Sciences published their findings in the journal Scientific Advances on Friday. They relied on images taken from NASA’s Juno satellite orbiting Jupiter, as well as X-ray measurements from the XMM-Newton space telescope that orbits Earth.

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