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Ghostly lightning is captured on Jupiter by a NASA probe.

The strange brightness of lightning inside a Jupiterian vortex was caught by a NASA probe.

A green bolt of lightning was spotted deep within one of Jupiter’s many whirlpools near the planet’s north pole.

Researchers are still trying to figure out how Jupiter’s huge storms and lightning-like phenomena take place on the gas giant, which is the largest planet in our solar system.

Most lightning strikes on Earth happen in the tropics since that’s where the water clouds are. However, on Jupiter, the strikes originate from ammonia and water cloud formations, and they are most common around the poles.

On December 30, 2020, the Juno spacecraft, which has been studying Jupiter and its moons since 2016, made its 31st close flyby of the gas giant, and took pictures. When this picture was taken, the spacecraft was roughly 19,900 miles (32,000 kilometers) above the Earth’s surface.

Kevin M. Gill, a citizen scientist, created the final image in 2022 using raw data from the JunoCam sensor on board the spacecraft.

The JunoCam raw photos of Jupiter and its moons have been made publicly available online.

The continuous research by Juno will aid scientists in their quest to better understand the solar system’s largest planet and its unique characteristics.

Taking a look through the clouds

As Juno’s orbit around Jupiter gradually draws closer to the planet, the spacecraft will soon pass relatively near to Jupiter’s nightside, providing even better possibilities to observe Jupiter’s lightning in the following months.

In order to better understand the formation and composition of Jupiter’s rings, the spacecraft will fly low over the planet’s nightside and repeatedly alter its orbit to provide fresh perspectives on the gas giant. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s acting project manager for the Juno mission, Matthew Johnson

Juno’s suite of equipment allows it to peer through Jupiter’s heavy cloud cover and gather information on the planet’s history, atmosphere, and weather.

More than 50 flybys of Jupiter have been completed, and the spacecraft has also passed within a few hundred kilometers of three of Jupiter’s largest moons: Europa, Ganymede, and Io, the most volcanically active spot in the solar system.

Our upcoming flybys in July and October will get us even closer, setting the stage for our impending December and February flyby encounters with Io, where we will get within 1,500 kilometers of the surface on both occasions. The volcanic activity of this amazing moon is being revealed in stunning detail by all of these flybys. The information should be mind-blowing. Juno’s lead scientist, Scott Bolton of San Antonio’s Southwest Research Institute

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