This was a big surprise, as ammonia-water clouds do not exist on Earth.”. Typically, that camera is used to peer at the stars and pinpoint Juno’s orientation and position in regards to the planet it’s orbiting. She adds that this kind of lightning “is very exotic and very different than what we have here on Earth and that’s what’s most exciting to me.”. 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. And that’s where ammonia, a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen, enters the picture. “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,” said Heidi Becker, Juno’s Radiation Monitoring Investigation lead at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “In this new state, falling droplets of ammonia-water liquid can collide with the up-going water-ice crystals and electrify the clouds,” she added. “In this new state, falling droplets of ammonia-water liquid can collide with the upgoing water-ice crystals and electrify the clouds. A University of Washington study maps the location and timing of “superbolts” — bolts that release electrical energy of more than 1 million joules, or a thousand times more energy than the average lightning bolt, in the very low frequency range in which lightning is most active. Juno is a NASA space probe that orbits Jupiter, collecting data and jaw-dropping images like these ones. “[L]ightning on Jupiter isn’t happening the same way like it does on Earth,” Becker says in the video above. Jupiter is absolutely covered in raging storms, so it makes sense that the planet would experience its own fair share of lightning as well. In two separate studies of extreme lightning events, researchers were astounded by the sheer power of mother nature that is unleashed far more regularly than previously thought.. Massive bolts of lightning have previously … The researchers don’t know exactly how they form, but as ScienceNews reports, there are some theories. So-called ‘superbolts’ were first detected in the 1970s, though they were suspected of only reaching 100 times the standard brightness of the typical lightning strike. This, in turn, allows for the formation of the high-altitude superbolts, despite ambient temperatures of -126 °F. Due to all of the ammonia in Jupiter’s atmosphere, water can reach much higher altitudes before freezing. NASA Observes ‘Superbolts’ of Lightning on Jupiter, Alpha will be closing on March 31. When the water/ammonia droplets interact with water crystals, it could produce enough of a charge to create lightning. “At these altitudes, the ammonia acts like an antifreeze, lowering the melting point of water ice and allowing the formation of a cloud with ammonia-water liquid,” Becker said in the NASA announcement. Mike Wehner has reported on technology and video games for the past decade, covering breaking news and trends in VR, wearables, smartphones, and future tech. #ScienceInSeconds on Jupiter's exotic weather: https://t.co/2LSs19l0ki pic.twitter.com/IXjSCyjNDF. The swirling atmosphere we see on Jupiter is home to violent storms. reporting is second only to his gaming addiction. “Juno’s close flybys of the cloud tops allowed us to see something surprising – smaller, shallower flashes – originating at much higher altitudes in Jupiter’s atmosphere than previously assumed possible,” Heidi Becker of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a statement. Here on Earth, we’re used to large storms producing a whole bunch of lightning. For these superbolts of lightning—which are up to 1,000 times as powerful as lightning on Earth—to occur at those higher altitudes, there needs to be some way to keep water in its liquid state. Electrify us with your thoughts in the comments, people! NASA has just announced that the Juno spacecraft has once again observed “Superbolts” of lightning in Jupiter’s atmosphere. NASA's Juno orbiter has observed lightning rolling across the tops of the gas giant Jupiter's cloud tops. ⚡️ New results from @NASAJuno suggest Jupiter is home to "shallow lightning." @NASASolarSystem’s Juno mission discovered new evidence pointing to shallow lightning & slushy ammonia-rich hailstones known as mushballs. NASA has just announced that the Juno spacecraft has once again observed “Superbolts” of lightning in Jupiter’s atmosphere. Most recently, Mike served as Tech Editor at The Daily Dot, and has been featured in USA Today, Time.com, and countless other web and print outlets. His love of And why does “Windex snow cone” sound like it could be a real thing in 2020? And while spotting lightning on the jumbo planet isn’t new, this latest observation may help to answer some big questions. “At these altitudes, the ammonia acts like an antifreeze, lowering the melting point of water ice and allowing the formation of a cloud with ammonia-water liquid,” Becker explains. What do you think about these superbolts of lightning in Jupiter’s atmosphere? ‘Superbolts’ of lightning strike when scientists least expect. Unlike Earth’s weather system, which is driven by water, Jupiter’s is driven by both water and ammonia. SURPRISE BLACK FRIDAY SALE: N95 masks and NIOSH KN95 masks are actually discounted! By Alex Fox Sep. 9, 2019 , 6:40 PM. Based on what Juno saw and sent back to Earth, we now know that electrical zaps crawl across the top of Jupiter’s clouds on a regular basis. The ammonia, in turn, is captured in the hail—described as “Windex snow cones” by Becker—where it is rendered invisible to Juno’s sensors. This is because Becker and her colleagues theorize that hail develops at the same high altitudes as the superbolts, and subsequently falls back deep into the lower atmosphere. Hunting for superbolts. A superbolt is any flash of lightning that is 100 times brighter than average. It’s possible, the researchers say, that ammonia at high altitudes merges with water and prevents it from freezing. Becker was the lead author of a recent study based on Juno’s findings published in Nature. Just for kicks, the Juno team decided to point the navigation camera at Jupiter’s dark side as it zipped around the gas giant and spotted smaller lightning bolts popping up along the tops of the huge cloud systems. 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It also explains why Juno has detected “pockets of missing ammonia” in Jupiter’s atmosphere. The study was led by Michael Peterson, a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory in … These smaller lightning bolts are much different than the larger “superbolts” that appear to originate from deep within the planet’s massive storms. Now, observations made by NASA’s Juno orbiter have revealed that Jupiter’s cloud tops are frequently active with lightning as well, and the activity is like nothing we see on Earth. But this theory not only explains how the superbolts form. In the past, astronomers have observed massive jolts of energy deep beneath the planet’s swirling cloud tops, but spotting lightning in the upper reaches of the atmosphere has proven challenging. In an announcement that comes via Science News, NASA outlined the recent Jovian-lightning observations, which were collected by Juno. 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