The atmosphere of Jupiter has been found to contain an unexpected "heat wave" that is 700 degrees Celsius and spans 130,000 kilometres (10 Earth diameters).

The findings were presented this week at the EPSC 2022 in Granada by James O'Donoghue of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

The atmosphere of Jupiter, known for its distinctive multicoloured vortices, is surprisingly heated as well; in fact, it is hundreds of degrees hotter than predicted.

The massive planet receives only 4% as much sunlight as Earth does because to its orbital distance of millions of kilometres from the sun.

Its upper atmosphere should be a chilly -70 degrees Celsius. Instead, whenever it is measured, its cloud tops are over 400 degrees Celsius.

Jupiter has auroras near its poles as a result of the solar wind, just like the Earth does.

Jupiter's auroras are permanent and vary in strength, in contrast to Earth's auroras, which are fleeting and only manifest when solar activity is high.

Global winds may transfer the heat around Jupiter, and strong auroras can heat the area surrounding the poles to above 700 degrees Celsius.

The heat wave was discovered to be moving thousands of kilometres per hour in the direction of the equator just beneath the northern aurora.

The amplified solar wind plasma pulse that struck Jupiter's magnetic field and increased auroral heating.