NASA Juno Finds Surprising Similarities Between Earth and Jupiter Lightning

"Jupiter's Surprising Similarities to Earth: From Lightning to Juno's Unprecedented Discovery"

Published by Astra | Space News Specialist

Jupiter Has Lightning, Just Like Earth, NASA’s Juno Spacecraft Finds

It turns out that Jupiter's atmosphere is similar to Earth's in more than one way. Just like Earth, Jupiter also has lightning — although perhaps not quite like what we’re used to here. NASA's Juno spacecraft spotted the lightning flashes while studying Jupiter's atmosphere during its mission.

The Breakdown

  • NASA's Juno spacecraft detected lightning on Jupiter, just like Earth.
  • The lightning is different from lightning on our planet.
  • It was detected with specially developed radio “ears.”
  • Jupiter's lightning is appearing in places where Earth's lightning does not.

These kinds of lightning flashes on Jupiter were just recently discovered by Juno’s mission team in August of 2018. This discovery marks the first time lightning has been detected by a spacecraft orbiting Jupiter.

The Tech

  • NASA's Juno spacecraft is equipped with specialized radio receivers called the Waves instrument.
  • These “ears” detect the microwaves emitted by the lightning.
  • This helps to not only detect lightning but also to measure the temperatures in Jupiter’s atmosphere.

Hot Take!

Who knew Jupiter was so like Earth? Apparently, lightning strikes in other planets and What?! It even looks different? So goes the motto of space exploration - the more you learn, the more you realize you don't know. Who knows what else we may discover one day?