University College London | 2017 Oct 30
Jupiter’s intense northern and southern lights pulse independently of each other according to new UCL-led research using ESA’s XMM-Newton and NASA’s Chandra X-ray observatories.
The study, published today in Nature Astronomy, found that very high-energy X-ray emissions at Jupiter’s south pole consistently pulse every 11 minutes. Meanwhile those at the north pole are erratic: increasing and decreasing in brightness, independent of the south pole.
This behaviour is distinct from Earth’s north and south auroras which broadly mirror each other in activity. Other similarly large planets, such as Saturn, do not produce any detectable X-ray aurora, which makes the findings at Jupiter particularly puzzling. ...
The Independent Pulsations of Jupiter’s Northern and Southern X-ray Auroras - W. R. Dunn et al
- Nature Astronomy (online 30 Oct 2017) DOI: 10.1038/s41550-017-0262-6