Jupiter’s magnetosphere knocking molecules from ice on surface of Callisto does not explain amount of atmospheric oxygen

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Scientists simulate thermal, energetic elements of Jovian magnetospheric plasma irradiating Callisto’s environment Differential quantity flux spectra for (a) protons, (b) oxygen ions, (c) sulfur ions, and (d) electrons close to Callisto’s orbit. Curves illustrate suits for the (yellow) thermal and (blue) energetic plasma. Orange curves for electrons characterize the transition from thermal to energetic regime. Pink and inexperienced factors denote observations of every inhabitants from Juno whereas situated close to Callisto’s orbital place. The black dashed line in every panel illustrates the sum of the differential ion fluxes over all ion species. Credit score: Journal of Geophysical Analysis: Planets (2023). DOI: 10.1029/2023JE007894

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Scientists simulate thermal, energetic elements of Jovian magnetospheric plasma irradiating Callisto’s environment Differential quantity flux spectra for (a) protons, (b) oxygen ions, (c) sulfur ions, and (d) electrons close to Callisto’s orbit. Curves illustrate suits for the (yellow) thermal and (blue) energetic plasma. Orange curves for electrons characterize the transition from thermal to energetic regime. Pink and inexperienced factors denote observations of every inhabitants from Juno whereas situated close to Callisto’s orbital place. The black dashed line in every panel illustrates the sum of the differential ion fluxes over all ion species. Credit score: Journal of Geophysical Analysis: Planets (2023). DOI: 10.1029/2023JE007894

A group of scientists affiliated with a number of establishments within the U.S. has examined a principle created to clarify the quantity of oxygen within the environment of Callisto, one in every of Jupiter’s moons, and has discovered that it falls quick. Of their paper revealed in Journal of Geophysical Analysis: Planets, the group describes how they examined the idea and different potential avenues of analysis.

Callisto is second in measurement to Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon. It is usually essentially the most closely cratered. Callisto has develop into the article of extra scrutiny lately as a result of unexplained great amount of oxygen in its environment.

Prior analysis has prompt that Callisto has a thick crust underneath which can lie an ocean, however its composition continues to be not clear—it is likely to be crust with some ice, or principally ice. It has additionally been recognized for a while that Callisto’s environment has a excessive proportion of oxygen. What has remained a thriller is how that oxygen obtained there, and why it persists. One main principle to clarify its presence is that Jupiter’s highly effective magnetosphere could also be knocking free molecules of hydrogen, water and oxygen from the ice on Callisto’s floor. On this new effort, the researchers examined that principle.

The work concerned simulating the thermal and energetic elements of Jupiter’s magnetosphere—particularly its plasma—and estimating the power that will make it to Callisto’s environment and floor. Subsequent, they calculated the quantity of oxygen that that must be launched based mostly on that quantity of publicity. They then in contrast the quantity of oxygen that must be in Callisto’s environment (based mostly on their calculations) with the quantity that’s really there and located an enormous discrepancy. There was rather more oxygen within the environment than might be defined by the affect of Jupiter’s magnetosphere—by two or three orders of magnitude.

That leaves the origin of the oxygen a whole thriller. The analysis group means that extra is likely to be realized from upcoming missions such because the ESA’s JUICE and NASAs Europa Clipper.

Extra data:
Shane R. Carberry Mogan et al, Callisto’s Ambiance: The Oxygen Enigma, Journal of Geophysical Analysis: Planets (2023). DOI: 10.1029/2023JE007894

Journal data:
Journal of Geophysical Analysis: Planets

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