Observing flares of ultraviolet light from Jupiter’s aurora

February 10th, 2011 - 6:18 pm ICT by ANI  

Hubble Space Telescope Washington, Feb 10 (ANI): Scientists has reported that Jupiter’s aurora often emits dramatic flares of ultraviolet light lasting several tens of seconds.

Bonfond et al. capture high-time-resolution image sequences of the flares using the Space Telescope Image Spectrograph on board the Hubble Space Telescope.

The authors have found that these flares occur quasi-periodically, with a time scale of about 2 to 3 minutes.

They also identified the magnetospheric region that corresponds to these emissions, and by analogy with similar flares on Earth, they determine that the flares are probably related to pulsed reconnections of the magnetic field at the planet’s dayside magnetopause (boundary where the planet’s magnetic field meets the solar wind of particles flowing from the Sun).

The research paper has been published in Geophysical Research Letters (GRL). (ANI)

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