Hubble captures mysterious aurora the size of EARTH over Jupiter’s north pole


On Earth they produce mesmerising riots of colour that light up the night sky around the poles.

But our planet is not the only world to enjoy stunning aurora – better known as the northern and southern lights.

Now scientists are hoping to unravel the secrets of the biggest such polar light show in our solar system by focusing their attention on Jupiter’s aurora.

They are using the Hubble Space Telescope to study the giant planet’s atmospheric light shows, which cover an area larger than the entire Earth.

New images captured by the telescope reveal the flickers and flashes produced as high energy particles in the solar wind collide with gases over Jupiter’s poles.

This produces vivid ultraviolet displays that cap the giant planet.

Astronomers are combining the observations with data being collected by Nasa’s Juno spacecraft as it races towards Jupiter.

The probe is currently surfing through the solar wind as it prepares to enter orbit around Jupiter on July 4.

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