Liquids/Liquid objects/Io

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This global view of Io, is obtained from the tenth orbit of Jupiter by NASA's Galileo spacecraft. Credit: NASA.
Native liquid sulfur in this photograph is red. Credit: National Iranian Gas Company.

The image at right is a "global view of Jupiter's moon, Io, ... obtained during the tenth orbit of Jupiter by NASA's Galileo spacecraft. Io, which is slightly larger than Earth's moon, is the most volcanically active body in the solar system. In this enhanced color composite, deposits of sulfur dioxide frost appear in white and grey hues while yellowish and brownish hues are probably due to other sulfurous materials. Bright red materials, such as the prominent ring surrounding Pele, and "black" spots with low brightness mark areas of recent volcanic activity and are usually associated with high temperatures and surface changes. One of the most dramatic changes is the appearance of a new dark spot (upper right edge of Pele), 400 kilometers (250 miles) in diameter which surrounds a volcanic center named Pillan Patera. The dark spot did not exist in images obtained 5 months earlier, but Galileo imaged a 120 kilometer (75 mile) high plume erupting from this location during its ninth orbit. North is to the top of the picture which was taken on September 19, 1997 at a range of more than 500,000 kilometers (310,000 miles) by the Solid State Imaging (SSI) system on NASA's Galileo spacecraft."[1]

At volcanic locations, native liquid sulfur can be seen flowing, such as in the image second down on the right, and it is red.

Liquids[edit | edit source]

Animation shows the Laplace resonance of Io, Europa and Ganymede (conjunctions are highlighted by color changes). Credit: WolfmanSF.

Europa is tidally locked to Jupiter, with one hemisphere of Europa constantly facing Jupiter, as such, there is a sub-Jovian point on Europa's surface, from which Jupiter would appear to hang directly overhead with Europa's prime meridian passing through this point.[2]

The tidal locking may not be full, as a non-synchronous rotation has been proposed: Europa spins faster than it orbits, or at least did so in the past. This suggests an asymmetry in internal mass distribution and that a layer of subsurface liquid separates the icy crust from the rocky interior.[3]

The orbital eccentricity of Europa is continuously pumped by its mean-motion resonance with Io.[4] Thus, the tidal flexing kneads Europa's interior and gives it a source of heat, possibly allowing its ocean to stay liquid while driving subsurface geological processes.[5][4] The ultimate source of this energy is Jupiter's rotation, which is tapped by Io through the tides it raises on Jupiter and is transferred to Europa and Ganymede by the orbital resonance.[4][6]

It is estimated that Europa has an outer layer of water around 100 km (62 mi) thick; a part frozen as its crust, and a part as a liquid ocean underneath the ice. Recent magnetic-field data from the Galileo orbiter showed that Europa has an induced magnetic field through interaction with Jupiter's, which suggests the presence of a subsurface conductive layer.[7] This layer is likely to be a salty liquid-water ocean. Portions of the crust are estimated to have undergone a rotation of nearly 80°, nearly flipping over, which would be unlikely if the ice were solidly attached to the mantle.[8] Europa probably contains a metallic iron core.[9][10]

Liquid objects[edit | edit source]

Thermal image of a sink full of hot water with cold water being added shows the hot and the cold water flowing into each other. Credit: Zaereth.
The formation of a spherical droplet of liquid water minimizes the surface area, which is the natural result of surface tension in liquids. Credit: José Manuel Suárez.

A liquid is made up of tiny vibrating particles of matter, such as atoms and molecules, held together by intramolecular bonds. Although liquid water is abundant on Earth, this state of matter is actually the least common in the known universe, because liquids require a relatively narrow temperature/pressure range to exist.

The first image at right shows liquid water using an infrared detector, but information confirming the presence of liquid water solely from the infrared image is inferred.

The image at left uses a visual radiation detector to record a meteor collision with liquid water.

Reconstructions of seismic waves in the deep interior of the Earth show that there are no S-waves in the outer core. This indicates that the outer core is liquid, because liquids cannot support shear. The outer core is liquid, and the motion of this highly conductive fluid generates the Earth's field (see geodynamo).

"When solid or liquid objects formed in the early Solar System, either by condensation from the vapor phase or by melting and crystallization of preexisting material, each of these isotopic chronometers is expected to have been reset."[11]

Astrognosy[edit | edit source]

Structure & surface feature diagram is of Jupiter's moon Io. Credit: Kelvinsong.{{free media}}

A model for the internal structure of Io shown on the right includes an ultramafic mantle and an iron and iron sulfide core.

Hypotheses[edit | edit source]

  1. Europa is a solid ice ball.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Sue Lavoie (18 January 1999). PIA01667: Io's Pele Hemisphere After Pillan Changes. Palo Alto, California: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona. Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
  2. "Planetographic Coordinates". Wolfram Research. 2010. Archived from the original on 1 March 2009. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
  3. Geissler, P. E.; Greenberg, R.; Hoppa, G.; Helfenstein, P.; McEwen, A.; Pappalardo, R.; Tufts, R.; Ockert-Bell, M. et al. (1998). "Evidence for non-synchronous rotation of Europa". Nature 391 (6665): 368–70. doi:10.1038/34869. PMID 9450751. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Showman, Adam P.; Malhotra, Renu (May 1997). "Tidal Evolution into the Laplace Resonance and the Resurfacing of Ganymede". Icarus 127 (1): 93–111. doi:10.1006/icar.1996.5669. 
  5. "Tidal Heating". Archived from the original on 29 March 2006.
  6. Moore, W. B. (2003). "Tidal heating and convection in Io". Journal of Geophysical Research 108 (E8): 5096. doi:10.1029/2002JE001943. 
  7. Phillips, Cynthia B.; Pappalardo, Robert T. (20 May 2014). "Europa Clipper Mission Concept". Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union 95 (20): 165–167. doi:10.1002/2014EO200002. 
  8. Cowen, Ron (7 June 2008). "A Shifty Moon". Science News.
  9. Kivelson, Margaret G.; Khurana, Krishan K.; Russell, Christopher T.; Volwerk, Martin; Walker, Raymond J.; Zimmer, Christophe (2000). "Galileo Magnetometer Measurements: A Stronger Case for a Subsurface Ocean at Europa". Science 289 (5483): 1340–1343. doi:10.1126/science.289.5483.1340. PMID 10958778. 
  10. Bhatia, G.K.; Sahijpal, S. (2017). "Thermal evolution of trans-Neptunian objects, icy satellites, and minor icy planets in the early solar system". Meteoritics & Planetary Science 52 (12): 2470–2490. doi:10.1111/maps.12952. 
  11. Donald D. Bogard (May 1995). "Impact ages of meteorites: A synthesis". Meteoritics 30 (05): 244-68. Retrieved 2013-08-02. 

External links[edit | edit source]

{{Radiation astronomy resources}}