This is the photograph showing lightning on Jupiter.

Juno Photographs Lighting on Jupiter

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A captivating sight of a vortex near Jupiter’s north pole was recently recorded by NASA’s Juno mission, revealing a glowing bolt of lightning. Contrary to Earth’s equatorial lightning deriving from water clouds, Jupiter’s polar lightning potentially stems from ammonia-water solution clouds.

Juno Photographs Lighting on Jupiter

NASA’s Juno spacecraft unveiled a mesmerizing view of a vortex near Jupiter’s north pole, illuminated by a lightning bolt’s glow. Contrary to lightning on Earth – which originates from water clouds primarily near the equator – Jupiter’s lightning seemingly stems from ammonia-water solution clouds, frequently observed near the planet’s poles.

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This is the photograph showing lightning on Jupiter.
This is the photograph showing lightning on Jupiter.
Image data: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS
Image processing by Kevin M. Gill © CC BY

Juno’s Upcoming Jupiter Encounters

In the forthcoming months, Juno’s orbits will bring it repeatedly closer to Jupiter. These encounters, taking place over the giant planet’s night side, promise to furnish more chances for Juno’s scientific instruments to capture active lightning.

Juno’s 31st Close Flyby of Jupiter

Juno snapped this enchanting sight during its 31st close flyby of Jupiter on December 30, 2020. The raw image data was processed in 2022 by Citizen scientist Kevin M. Gill using the JunoCam instrument aboard the spacecraft. At the time of the image capture, Juno hovered about 19,900 miles (approximately 32,000 kilometers) above Jupiter’s cloud tops, nearing the planet at a latitude of around 78 degrees.

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Written by Ivan Petricevic

I've been writing passionately about ancient civilizations, history, alien life, and various other subjects for more than eight years. You may have seen me appear on Discovery Channel's What On Earth series, History Channel's Ancient Aliens, and Gaia's Ancient Civilizations among others.

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