Lightning on Jupiter: Rate, Energetics, and Effects

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Science  19 Dec 1980:
Vol. 210, Issue 4476, pp. 1351-1352
DOI: 10.1126/science.210.4476.1351


Voyager data on the optical and radio-frequency detection of lightning discharges in the atmosphere of Jupiter suggest a stroke rate significantly lower than on the earth. The efficiency of conversion of atmospheric convective energy flux into lightning is almost certainly less than on the earth, probably near 10–7 rather than the terrestrial value of 10–4. At this level the rate of production of complex organic molecules by lightning and by thunder shock waves is negligible compared to the rates of known photochemical processes for forming colored inorganic solids.