Researchers have been puzzled by Jupiter’s moons for a long time since they are quite hot despite the generous distance between them and the sun, a fact which has led to the appearance of several theories.
Previous research has revealed that Jupiter can influence the temperature of the moons via a process, which is known as tidal heating. As a consequence of the process, some of the icy moons contain underground oceans filled with liquid water. Io, which is a rocky moon, features magma.
Scientists tended to believe that Jupiter is the main source of tidal heating that can be tied to the liquid substances found in the moon, but according to a new study, moon-moon interactions can also play a major role, offering a new and exciting perspective related to heating.
By kearning more about the way in which moons can influence other moons scientists to hope to uncover more data about Jupiter’s moon system, which features more than eighty moons, with the most notable ones being Io, Callisto, Ganymede, and Europa. Since the moons are so small, the researchers didn’t expect the presence of a notable tidal response.
Heat and tidal resonance
A key element of tidal heating is represented by a phenomenon known as tidal resonance. Each moon generates a specific tidal resonance with the help of oceans of liquid water and the gravitational influence of another moon, which plays a vital role.
Tides that are generated by some moons and match the resonant frequency of other moons will lead to the appearance of additional heat, with the most notable and rare events being represented by the melting of internal ice or rock. This effect is quite powerful and more influential then Jupiter. The presence of a significant underground ocean is a must.
More data can be found in a study that was published in a scientific journal.