Science Findings

08.20.20

Juno Discovers New Radiation bELT vERY clOSE tO jUPITER

Unlike particles observed by Galileo Probe 20 years ago, Juno discovered a new radiation belt resting just above Jupiter’s atmosphere.  The new belt is comprised of high-energy sulfur, oxygen, and hydrogen ions that are thought to be created by neutral atoms originating afar becoming ionized when they hit Jupiter’s atmosphere.

Radiation belt of sulfur, oxygen, & hydrogen ions trapped just above Jupiter's atmosphere. 

Created by energetic neutral atoms (ENAs) from afar, ionized by impact with Jupiter's atmosphere. 

Radiation belts around strongly magnetized planets pose critical challenge to space missions.