back to article Jupiter flashes pulsating southern pole, boffins understandably baffled

Jupiter’s vivid northern and southern lights flash independently from each other, a discovery that has surprised scientists. The results published in Nature Astronomy on Monday reveal that the gas giant’s x-ray emissions are erratic at its north pole; the swirling patterns of light continuously brighten and dim over time. But …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "...the gas giant’s x-ray emissions are erratic at its north pole; But at the south pole, the lights pulse steadily every eleven minutes."

    And I suppose in time this steady pulsing will switch to the north, while the south becomes erratic. Along with that asymmetrically placed red spot too...

  2. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    The Answer

    Jupiter is obviously a relay station for intergalactic communications.

    A.C. Clarke was almost right. {Actually he knew the whole story, but signed an NDA}

  3. teebie

    Is anybody else seeing a face?

    1. Danger Mouth

      I saw something that looks suspiciously like --------------------------------->

  4. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    I can't believe the headline didn't involve a flashing bottom.

    For shame.

    1. AceRimmer1980

      I can't believe there's no 'probe Uranus' joke

      For shame.

  5. Wiltshire

    It *must* be caused by climate change (hey, everything else is).

    Stand by for an appeal to authority for a reason for a new tax.

    1. unwarranted triumphalism

      Can't you do any better than that?

      1. Kiwi Silver badge

        Can't you do any better than that?

        Good advice. When the IPCC fudges the next batch of data, you might try passing it on to them!

    2. Potemkine!

      When somebody lives in a parallel Universe...

      .. it's a good indication (s)he is either ready for vacations in a mental institution or is an American conservative - both are not mutually exclusive.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Warning, rocks ahead!

    It's a lighthouse for UFOs

  7. 1Rafayal

    I, for one, welcome our new Jovian overlords.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Surely Joverlords...

  8. Vinyl-Junkie

    It's the planetary version..

    ...of one of those flashing yellow warning lights you see on roadworks.

    The hyperspace bypass is now under construction...

  9. DagD

    Easy answer

    Ripple in the space time continuum. Possibly a tear at the northern end.


    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Easy answer

      Ripple in the space time continuum

      s/Ripples/Eddies/g *

  10. John Sanders

    New scientific term detected

    "baffled boffin"

    How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Reg.

    1. Patched Out

      Re: New scientific term detected

      I think I'm going to start using that, as in, "Well I'll be a baffled boffin".


      "Holy baffled boffins, Batman!"

    2. Ugotta B. Kiddingme Silver badge

      Re: New scientific term detected

      "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Reg."

      As Peter Sellers has long since joined the choir invisible, whom do you suggest to play the title role of "Dr. Baffleboffin" in the film? Perhaps Rowan Atkinson?

  11. unwarranted triumphalism

    Pretty pictures from outer space

    Glad to see my tax money being spent on something useful. Too bad our infrastructure is fallaing apart though. It would be nice to see some money spent on that once in a while.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pretty pictures from outer space

      Most western democracies spend most of their tax monies on social spending of various kinds. After that there's defense spending (in the US anyway) and then what's left goes for things like infrastructure. Space exploration is way down below even that. In other words, recucing social spending even by a small amount will free up far more money than eliminating the entire space budget.

      So, is 2% of welfare spending or 5% more infrastructure spending more important than continuing to explore the universe? Before answering, consider that total material resources are vastly greater off-planet than on, and getting them won't involve messing up the planet. But we'll never get to that point if all our treasure is forever needed for government vote buying schemes and fat government union pensions.

  12. Ugotta B. Kiddingme Silver badge

    "one theory that could explain..."

    “I have detected," Ford said, "disturbances in the wash."

    Arthur asked him to repeat what he had just said because he hadn't quite understood his meaning. Ford repeated it.

    "The wash?" said Arthur.

    "The space time wash," said Ford.

    Arthur nodded, and then cleared his throat.

    "Are we talking about," he asked cautiously, "some sort of Vogon laundromat, or what are we talking about?"

    "Eddies," said Ford, "in the space-time continuum."

    "Ah," nodded Arthur, "is he. Is he."

    "What?" said Ford.

    "Er, who," said Arthur, "is Eddy, then, exactly, then?"

    Ford looked angrily at him.

    "Will you listen?" he snapped.

    "I have been listening," said Arthur, "but I'm not sure it's helped."

  13. streaky


    Just saying, called it, prove me wrong snowflakes!


  14. Doctor_Wibble

    Phlogistonic fluctuations.

    As per subject. It's not some great marvellous mystery, it's behaving differently from ours because it's Jovian.

    These people clearly just don't know any Proper Science.

  15. dbayly

    It's all about us

    It's the "Danger:savage primitive lifeforms in stellar system" beacon, placed, as per convention, on the poles of rotation of the largest planet in the stellar system.

    Generally when the life forms figure out how to turn it off, they are advanced enough to not want to argue with the lifeforms that turned it on a long time ago.

  16. Dr. G. Freeman

    The Jovians are just putting their Christmas lights up a bit early.

  17. Jim Mitchell

    Dang, the North bulb is loose again.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Either that, or they're having a disco.

  18. Red Bren
    Paris Hilton

    Just a thought

    As Jupiter has a much stronger magnetic field than the earth, is it much better at sorting charged particles, so that the resulting aurora is markedly different at each pole?

  19. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    Never stops giving

  20. Joe User

    Flashes pulsating at the poles

    The solar system's biggest raves.

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