Eerily Beautiful Photo From a Desert Shows a Rare Glimpse of Jupiter’s Halo

A amazing picture not too long ago launched by the ESO exhibits Jupiter as you’ve likely in no way witnessed it in advance of – ringed by a halo of light as it shines down on the Atacama desert in Chile.

That halo is an optical phenomenon, recognised as a corona. You have likely witnessed it around the Moon, or probably even the Sunshine, but it is really only hardly ever witnessed around planets this kind of as Jupiter.


The phenomenon will become visible when light from a shining item passes by way of Earth’s ambiance. If there are very small ice crystals, or droplets of drinking water, in the light’s route, they can diffract it as it passes by way of, generating a halo.

It truly is a attractive spectacle – but not to be puzzled with the other varieties of corona, as you can see below.

(ESO/P. Horálek)

You have no question listened to of the photo voltaic corona. It truly is a halo of plasma that surrounds the Sunshine, most visible throughout a full photo voltaic eclipse. It extends millions of kilometres into space in all instructions around the Sunshine.

Every single star has just one. The Sun’s is a perfectly researched phenomenon, and it can reveal the fascinating dynamics of the photo voltaic magnetic field, the photo voltaic wind, and even exercise on the photo voltaic surface.

Planets can have coronas much too! Not like stellar coronas, they are not built up of plasma instead, they are the upper concentrations of the planetary ambiance, also recognised as the exosphere, where by the density of neutral particles is exceptionally reduced.

Earth’s, for instance, is identified as the geocorona, and it glows in significantly-ultraviolet because of to the scattering of people photo voltaic rays off neutral hydrogen atoms. Mars also has hydrogen in its corona, in addition to oxygen and carbon.


Jupiter has just one of these much too, also with hydrogen. It truly is not likely we’d be in a position to see it in an optical wavelength photograph taken from Earth’s surface, although.

Ultimately, there are geological coronae. These are round or oval-formed options in the rock on the surface of a planet, this kind of as the Fotla Corona on Venus. As Jupiter does not have a sound surface, it does not have any of this variety of corona at all, as significantly as we know.

You can obtain the total-sized picture of Jupiter’s optical halo, as perfectly as wallpaper versions, below.