Credit: Y. Ezoe et al./JAXA
That Glow Around Jupiter
What's that glow around Jupiter? Shown in the false-color X-ray image above, Jupiter evidently is surrounded by a diffuse X-ray emitting region. This glow was detected by the Suzaku X-ray telescope thanks to Suzaku's low noise background and high sensitivity to energetic X-rays. Astronomers believe this X-ray emission may be produced by sunlight scattering off high energy electrons. These electrons may be either trapped in Jupiter's radiation belts, or produced in the Io Plasma Torus. Some of these trapped charges might migrate along Jupiter's magnetic field lines and produce beautiful coronae near the Jovian poles - if only there were anyone to see them.
Published: July 12, 2010
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Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified Thursday, 03-May-2012 14:46:48 EDT