Suzaku X-ray image of Jupiter
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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Each week the HEASARC brings you new, exciting and beautiful images from X-ray and Gamma ray astronomy. Check back each week and be sure to check out the HEAPOW archive!

Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran

Last modified Wednesday, 19-Mar-2014 21:42:41 EDT