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Jupiter's Aurora

These mosaics of Jupiter's night side show the Jovian aurora at approximately 45 minute intervals. The aurora is hundreds of kilometers wide and about 250 kilometers above the planet. The auroral emission is caused by electrically charged particles striking atoms in the upper atmosphere from above. The particles travel along Jupiter's magnetic field lines. This is the same mechanism that causes auroras on Earth. These images were obtained by the Solid State Imaging (SSI) system on the Galileo spacecraft.

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