Jupiter's aurora


Fig. 3.24 . The aurora oval or ring over the north polar region of Jupiter, as imaged from the Hubble Space Telescope in ultraviolet light in September 1997. High-energy electrons and ions cascade into Jupiter's upper atmosphere and create the bright ultraviolet aurora. Several of the bright spots are believed to mark the magnetic "footpoints" of three of Jupiterís largest moons. The footpoints are locations where powerful streams of electrons follow the magnetic fields of Jupiterís magnetosphere from the moons down into Jupiterís atmosphere. (Courtesy of NASA/STScI/U. Michigan.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University