The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) frequently uses Instagram to share unique and fascinating posts about our neighboring planets. Their most recent posts attempt to unravel the riddle surrounding Jupiter’s X-ray auroras which caught people’s curiosity, eliciting a wide range of responses.
The ions ‘surfing’ electromagnetic waves are the answer to the puzzle of what generates X-ray auroras on Jupiter, according to Nasa. They also went into further depth regarding this fascinating phenomenon in the following lines.
‘Jupiter has the most powerful auroras in the solar system, and is the only one of the four giant planets with an aurora that has been found to emit X-rays. Planetary astronomers knew the auroras are triggered by ions crashing into Jupiter’s atmosphere. Now, they have learned how the ions responsible for the X-ray light show are able to get to the atmosphere,’ Nasa wrote.
‘Scientists combined measurements taken by our Juno spacecraft with data from the @EuropeanSpaceAgency’s XMM-Newton mission, to solve a 40-year-old mystery about the origins of Jupiter’s unusual X-ray auroras. For the first time, they have seen the entire mechanism at work: The electrically charged atoms or ions, responsible for the X-rays are ‘surfing’ electromagnetic waves in Jupiter’s magnetic field, down into the gas giant’s atmosphere,’ it added.
With a picture depicting purple colors all around the planet, Nasa said that the image was generated by superimposing the colors discovered by Chandra X-ray Observatory in 2007 on a Hubble Space Telescope photograph of Jupiter.
Since Nasa posted, it has received over 8.2 lakh likes and the figure is rapidly growing. It has also collected a large number of comments.