NASA’s Juno mission may have found ‘lightning elves’ in Jupiter’s atmosphere

There is an electrical phenomenon that occurs above thunderstorms on Earth and is called the Sprites, which are usually red on Earth. NASA scientists recently announced after flipping through data from the Juno mission that they had discovered the same phenomenon for the first time in Jupiter’s clouds, where the Prites are blue.

NASA's Juno mission may have found 'lightning elves' in Jupiter's atmosphere

For those unfamiliar with it, Sprites is a short but very powerful discharge that occurs high in the Earth’s atmosphere. Scientists call them transient luminescence events or TLS. Because The appearance time of the Sprints is very short, it is difficult to capture with film. Scientists have been debating for years whether this is happening on Earth.

NASA has discovered Sprintes in the atmosphere of Jupiter, shaped like a disk that glows for less than a thousandth of a second and appears in Jupiter’s fast-flowing upper atmosphere. Scientists have previously thought that Sprites, or another phenomenon known as Elves, should have occurred in the atmosphere of Immon. However, this is the first time evidence of their existence has been found.

Juno made the discovery thanks to its ultraviolet spectrometer. In the summer of 2019, scientists studied the images and found a narrow, bright streak of ultraviolet light, which they identified as Sprintes. The scientists also found that in ultraviolet light, Jupiter has aurora in addition to the Sprintes discovered by scientists.

The researchers looked through all the data taken during the four-year mission and found 11 similar flashes, all of which had very similar properties. The study is still in its early stages, so scientists aren’t sure how common Sprintes are on Jupiter. However, finding the first example is a major discovery. These astronomical phenomena were found in an area of Jupiter known to be where lightning is present.