This infrared image from the spacecraft Juno provides an unprecedented view of Jupiter's southern aurora. We expected that out largest planet probably had auroras - caused by electrons from the Sun hitting its magnetic field - but such views are not possible from Earth.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS
Among the more unique data sets collected by Juno was that acquired by the mission's Radio/Plasma Wave Experiment (Waves), which recorded ghostly- sounding transmissions emanating from above the planet. These radio emissions from Jupiter have been known about since the 1950s but had never been analyzed from such a close vantage point. Waves detected the signature emissions of the energetic particles that generate the massive auroras which encircle Jupiter's north pole. These emissions are the strongest in the solar system.
These first infrared views of Jupiter's north and south poles are revealing warm and hot spots that have never been seen before. And while scientists knew that the images of Jupiter's south pole could reveal the planet's southern aurora, they were amazed to see it for the first time. No other instruments, either from Earth or space, have been able to see Jupiter’s southern aurora before. (Such views are not possible from Earth). Now, with the Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper (JIRAM), it is seen be very bright and well structured.
Just like on Earth, auroras are indicators of the planetary connection to the Sun. Their frequency correlates to the Sun's 11-year cycle of activity. The Sun sends out ions, electrons, protons, neutrinos and radiation in the solar wind. These high-energy particles and radiations get released into space and travel throughout the solar system. When they hit the planets, they encounter their magnetic fields. The electrons that originated in the Sun can create auroras at north and south poles. We look forward to more pictures from Juno that will demonstrate the intimate relationship between Father Sun and its largest planet.
Source Reference: NASA/JPL, as reported on http://thewatchers.adorraeli.com/2016/09/02/juno-takes-first-ever-images-of-jupiter-s-north-pole-sees-weather-activity-unlike-anything-seen-before/