Jupiter has moons that record high temperatures on average or at least higher than they should be since they’re located far away from the sun.
The Process And Its Effects
Thanks to a process known as tidal heating, gravitational tugs from Jupiter’s moons and the planet make the moons stretch and squish just enough to warm them!
Because of that, some of the icy moons host liquid water.
In the case of the moon Io, tidal heating is so intense that it melts rock into magma.
Researchers believed that Jupiter was the cause of most of the tidal heating in the moons. Still, a recent study published in Geophysical Research Letters states that moon-moon interactions have a more substantial impact than Jupiter.
The paper’s lead author, Hamish Hay, stated:
“It’s surprising because the moons are so much smaller than Jupiter. You wouldn’t expect them to be able to create such a large tidal response.”
Jupiter is a fantastic planet. It has nearly 80 moons, so understanding their behavior might be helpful for astronomers.
The study’s co-author, Antony Trinh, stated:
“Maintaining subsurface oceans against freezing over geological times requires a fine balance between internal heating and heat loss, and yet we have several pieces of evidence that Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, and other moons should be ocean worlds.”
How Tidal Resonance Happens
Resonance creates heat, according to Hay.
Pushing a system or object and letting it go, it will start wobbling at its natural frequency.
However, if you push it at the wrong time, the motion is dampened.
Picture that like pushing a swing – Timing the pushes right makes it go higher and higher, but doing it wrong slows it down (and probably hurts a lot).
The natural frequencies of moons depend on the depth of their oceans.
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