Jupiter’s moon Io emits peculiar radio waves, and NASA’s Juno is the only one listening.
Of all the planets, Jupiter has the biggest and most powerful magnetic field. For decades, it puzzled scientists’ work and made them wonder how’s that possible. But, now Jupiter’s volcanic moon Io unfolds before Juno, unveiling something quite strange.
Here is what you need to know.
Juno’s Captures Radio Waves
NASA’s Juno can pick up radio waves from space and offer scientists enough data to make some intriguing discoveries. Now, it listens to radio emissions from moon Io, Jupiter’s closest moon.
According to a team of researchers, the radio data showed how the signal rotates like a lighthouse, and Juno can detect it only when the sound is towards it.
And that’s not all.
Powerful radio waves
The new batch of data also revealed that the electrons that produce the radio waves emit a lot of energy, up to 23 times more prominent than researchers predicted.
Moreover, the electrons can have other origins, too. They might come from the solar wind or the planet’s magnetic field.
Below, you can see a representation of Jupiter’s massive and powerful magnetic field and the way it ‘connects’ to Io’s orbit with the planet’s atmosphere:
Other Significant Details
Jupiter’s biggest and most powerful magnetic field stretches so much that some of the planet’s moons orbit within it. And because Io is so close to the planet, the moon is somehow trapped in a gravitational tug-of-war between two other big moons, and of course, our planetary neighbor.
Those opposing pulls can trigger huge internal heat. Previous data showed how that activity led to hundreds of volcanic eruptions across Io’s surface.
According to NASA, volcanoes are also powerful. They release 1 ton of gasses and particles every second. A part of the matter becomes charged ions and electrons, raining down onto Jupiter, while the other part creates something dubbed decameter radio waves.
Researchers will offer more data soon!