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Hubble Telescope Reveals Jupiter's Auroras

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Scientists have known that Jupiter, like Earth, has auroras at its poles. Now, new instruments aboard the Hubble Space Telescope and a specially designed filter have enabled University of Michigan astrophysicists to produce some of what they say are the highest-resolution images of this planetary phenomenon to date.

Photo courtesy of J. Clarke, University of Michigan and NASA.
When material dragged from the atmosphere of Jupiter's moon, Io, interacts within the planet's atmosphere, hydrogen ions and enormous electrical current produce bright auroras in Jupiter's northern and southern polar regions.

Photonics Spectra
Feb 1998
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