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Lightning activity on JupiterPhotographic observations of the nightside of Jupiter by the Voyager 1 spacecraft show the presence of extensive lightning activity. Detection of whistlers by the plasma wave analyzer confirms the optical observations and implies that many flashes were not recorded by the Voyager camera because the intensity of the flashes was below the threshold sensitivity of the camera. Measurements of the optical energy radiated per flash indicate that the observed flashes had energies similar to that for terrestrial superbolts. The best estimate of the lightning energy dissipation rate of 0.0004 W/sq m was derived from a consideration of the optical and radiofrequency measurements. The ratio of the energy dissipated by lightning compared to the convective energy flux is estimated to be between 0.000027 and 0.00005. The terrestrial value is 0.0001.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Borucki, W. J.
(NASA Ames Research Center Theoretical and Planetary Studies Branch, Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Bar-Nun, A.
(Tel Aviv University Tel Aviv, Israel)
Scarf, F. L.
(TRW, Inc. Redondo Beach, CA, United States)
Look, A. F.
(Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Cambridge, MA, United States)
Hunt, G. E.
(University College London, United Kingdom)
Date Acquired
August 11, 2013
Publication Date
December 1, 1982
Publication Information
Publication: Icarus
Volume: 52
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Accession Number
Distribution Limits

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