The tidal energy that heats the subsoil of Jupiter’s satellites is created not so much by the giant planet as by its moons. The research on the topic was published in the publication Geophysical Research Letters by scientists from the University of Arizona (USA).
Jupiter has almost eight dozen satellites, some of which are very unusual celestial bodies. For example, Europe is covered with ice, under which there is supposed to be a liquid ocean, and Io shows the most powerful volcanic activity in the solar system. Liquid water and active volcanoes indicate that the depths of the moons in Jupiter are hot enough, which is surprising given the considerable distance from the Sun.
It is believed that the huge mass of the gas giant provides energy to keep warm in the depths of Jupiter’s satellites. Moving in the heterogeneous gravitational field of the vast planet, the moons are exposed to tidal forces that force their internal matter to move and produce heat from friction. However, new research has shown that the moons of Jupiter can heat each other.
“The moons of Jupiter are much smaller than the planet, so our discovery looks a little strange at first glance. But when you consider the fact that a powerful tidal effect can be created by a resonance, the source of which can be even a weak force, everything falls into place,” says Hamish Hay, lead author of the study.