It is the first time that Jupiter's X-ray aurora has been studied when a giant storm from the Sun arrived at the planet, researchers said.

"There's a constant power struggle between the solar wind and Jupiter's magnetosphere. We want to understand this interaction and what effect it has on the planet," said lead author William Dunn, PhD student at University College London.

The Sun constantly ejects streams of particles into space in the solar wind. When giant storms erupt, the winds become much stronger and compress Jupiter's magnetosphere, shifting its boundary with the solar wind two million kilometres through space.

The study found that this interaction at the boundary triggers the high energy X-rays in Jupiter's Northern Lights, which cover an area bigger than the surface of the Earth.

The impact of solar storms on Jupiter's aurora was tracked by monitoring the X-rays emitted during two 11 hour observations in October 2011 when an interplanetary coronal mass ejection was predicted to reach the planet from the Sun.

Scientists used the data collected to build a spherical image to pinpoint the source of the X-ray activity and identify areas to investigate further at different time points.

The study was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research - Space Physics.

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