- New research shows that Jupiter’s moons are warming to each other as a result of gravity.
- Each moon keeps the tidal forces hotter than the others.
- Jupiter’s moon Europa has a surface ocean that can sustain life.
Jupiter is known as the power, gas, and “king” of the planets. It is very large and has a number of moons orbiting it. In fact, there is a gas giant About 80 worlds orbit it, From small to large. The weird thing about them is that they look a little warmer than they actually are Should do Be, but why?
New research published Geophysical Research Letters Indicates that the satellites are responsible for their own heating, or at least for heating each other. This may seem strange, but when you consider the effects of gravity, it actually makes perfect sense.
The new study focuses on a phenomenon known as tidal heating. Simply put, tidal heating refers to the gravitational pull of moons as they pass through their orbits around their host planet. Just as the Earth’s Moon pushes on our planet to create a tidal wave, the gravitational pull of Jupiter’s moons interacts and provides energy.
Jupiter’s moon Europa is believed to have a surface ocean beneath its frozen crust. Without tidal heating, such a thing would not be possible based on how far Jupiter is from the Sun. It certainly affects aquatic worlds like Europe, but it also affects rocky planets.
“Maintaining surface oceans against freezing at geographical times requires a good balance between internal warming and heat loss, yet we have ample evidence that Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, and other moons must be ocean worlds,” said Anthony Trinh, co-author of the research. “Io, the closest moon to Jupiter, shows extensive volcanic activity, which is another consequence of tidal warming, but other high-intensity Earth-like planets may have experienced it in their early history. Ultimately, we want to understand the source of this heat for the impact on the evolution and habitat of many worlds throughout the Solar System and beyond. ”
The researchers ran models to test this theory. They found that Jupiter alone could not be responsible for the tidal forces, and that the tidal force resulting from the heat was only modeled by the moons.
Currently, Jupiter’s Europe is one of the leading candidates in the search for extraterrestrials within our own solar system. This is possible, scientists believe, as life thrives on the lunar surface ocean, and future missions may be able to prove it right.