NASA Detects Mysterious Signal From One Of Jupiter’s Moons

by : Saman Javed on : 13 Jan 2021 11:36
NASA Detects Mysterious Signal From One Of Jupiter's MoonsNASA Detects Mysterious Signal From One Of Jupiter's MoonsNASA

A NASA spacecraft orbiting Jupiter has reportedly detected a mysterious radio signal from one of the planet’s moons.

The signal, which was detected by NASA’s Juno space probe, came from the moon Ganymede.  The emission, which lasted approximately five seconds, is a first-time detection from the moon.

Hubble’s Crisp New Image of Jupiter and EuropaHubble’s Crisp New Image of Jupiter and EuropaNASA

A NASA ambassador, Patrick Wiggins from Utah, was quick to clarify that the signal was caused by electrons, not aliens.

‘It’s not E.T,’ Wiggins told local news outlet KTVX, which first reported the discovery. ‘It’s more of a natural function,’ he added.

According to the publication, the signal was most likely caused by electrons oscillating at a lower rate than at which they spin, amplifying radio waves. At the time of detection, Juno was flying by at a speedy 111,847mph.


This process was also behind similar signals coming from Jupiter as detected by Juno in 2017. Juno’s mission is to study how the planet Jupiter formed and how it evolved.

‘Juno observes Jupiter’s gravity and magnetic fields, atmospheric dynamics and composition, and evolution,’ NASA said.


At the time of the latest detection, Juno was travelling across the polar region of Jupiter, where magnetic field lines connect to Ganymede. The signal is known to scientists as a ‘decametric radio emission’.


Jupiter’s radio emissions were first discovered in 1955. Since then, scientists have been able to make more sense of how the signals work.

‘A member of the Salt Lake Astronomical society once built an amateur radio telescope that could detect the electromagnetic radiation from Jupiter,’ Wiggins said.

Growth of the solar system - presumably three new planetsGrowth of the solar system - presumably three new planetsPA Images

In 2018, scientists revealed they had observed ‘extraordinary’ electromagnetic waves coming from Ganymede.


The waves, also known as chorus waves, were spotted by NASA’s Galileo Probe spacecraft, which was tasked with the mission of observing Jupiter’s wave environment.

‘It’s a really surprising and puzzling observation showing that a moon with a magnetic field can create such a tremendous intensification in the power of waves,’ Yuri Shprits, the lead author of the study, told The Independent at the time.

Scientists believe that the waves are partly caused by Jupiter’s intense magnetic field, which is the strongest in the entire solar system.

‘Chorus waves have been detected in space around the Earth but they are nowhere near as strong as the waves at Jupiter,’ Richard Horne, another co-author said.


‘Even if a small portion of these waves escapes the immediate vicinity of Ganymede, they will be capable of accelerating particles to very high energies and ultimately producing very fast electrons inside Jupiter’s magnetic field,’ he added.

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Topics: Science, Jupiter, NASA, Now, Solar System, Space


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