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Polar Lightning on Jupiter
Release Date: October 9, 2007
Images taken by the New Horizons Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) of Jupiter’s night side showed lightning strikes. Each “strike” is probably the cumulative brightness of multiple strikes. This is the first lightning seen at high latitudes on Jupiter; it demonstrates that convection is not confined to lower latitudes, implying an internal driving heat source. Their power is consistent with previous lightning measurements at Jupiter’s lower latitudes, equivalent to extremely bright terrestrial “super bolts.”
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute