Jupiter is the planet that has 79 discovered moons that revolve around it, and the gas giant is also known for other unique characteristics. Lightning occurring within Jupiter’s atmosphere doesn’t represent something new at all, but things change in the case of the so-called ‘Superbolts’.
NASA’s Juno spacecraft has spotted images of the Superbolts, and you are free to feast your eyes on the majestic phenomenon below:
⚡️ New results from @NASAJuno suggest Jupiter is home to "shallow lightning." An unexpected form of electrical discharge, it comes from an ammonia-water solution, whereas lightning on Earth originates from water clouds: https://t.co/iA3ksVJNR3 pic.twitter.com/VXX8hetH0O
— NASA (@NASA) August 5, 2020
Heidi Becker, who is Juno’s Radiation Monitoring Investigation lead at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, declared:
Juno’s close flybys of the cloud tops allowed us to see something surprising – smaller, shallower flashes [of lightning] – originating at much higher altitudes in Jupiter’s atmosphere than previously assumed possible,
Jupiter’s surface is made entirely of gases, and the gravity is way higher than the one from Earth. Such conditions make impossible the survival of a human being on the solar system’s biggest planet. But to complete the overall picture of the unwelcoming conditions, Jupiter also has some terrifying storms going around.
Thomas Zurbuchen, who is the Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate from NASA, declared:
The swirling atmosphere we see on Jupiter is home to violent storms. @NASASolarSystem’s Juno mission discovered new evidence pointing to shallow lightning & slushy ammonia-rich hailstones known as mushballs.
Being the fifth planet from the Sun and also located at a distance of 778 million kilometers from our star, Jupiter also stands out for its huge size. The gas giant has a diameter of 142,800 kilometers, which means more than 11 times the diameter of Earth. The volume of Jupiter is over 1,300 times the volume of our planet. This obviously means that Jupiter is so outrageously big that more than 1,300 planets the size of our Earth could fit inside of the gas giant.
Therefore, next time you’re thinking of complaining about the weather, take a look at what’s happening on Jupiter. It could be far worse.