Jupiter's 'Northern Lights' caused by solar storms

Jupiter's 'Northern Lights' Caused By Solar Storms
Jupiter's 'Northern Lights' Caused By Solar Storms

The Northern Lights are known to happen on Earth, but the phenomenon was observed in a more powerful form on another planet.

New research led by University College London, or UCL, found that Jupiter had its own version of the Northern Lights during solar storms that occurred there in 2011.

In fact, a UCL press release states that the system had "a new X-ray aurora that is eight times brighter than normal and hundreds of times more energetic than Earth's aurora borealis."

Photo: JAXA

The event was the result of a coronal mass ejection, or stream of plasma from the sun, colliding with Jupiter's magnetosphere.

The effect was flashes of bright, expansive light that appeared every 26 minutes.

Chandra X-ray Observatory
Chandra X-ray Observatory

Photo: X-ray: NASA/CXC/UCL/W.Dunn et al, Optical: NASA/STScI

NASA reports that this is "the first time that Jupiter's auroras have been studied in X-ray light when a giant solar storm arrived at the planet."

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Originally published