A Magnetically Driven Equatorial Jet in Europa's Ocean

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
March 12, 2019
Filed under
A Magnetically Driven Equatorial Jet in Europa's Ocean

During recent decades, data from space missions have provided strong evidence of deep liquid oceans underneath a thin outer icy crust on several moons of Jupiter, particularly Europa.

But these observations have also raised many unanswered questions regarding the oceanic motions generated under the ice, or the mechanisms leading to the geological features observed on Europa. By means of direct numerical simulations of Europa’s interior, we show here that Jupiter’s magnetic field generates a retrograde oceanic jet at the equator, which may influence the global dynamics of Europa’s ocean and contribute to the formation of some of its surface features by applying a unidirectional torque on Europa’s ice shell.

Christophe Gissinger, Ludovic Petitdemange
(Submitted on 11 Mar 2019)
Comments: 10 pages, 4 figures + 1 Method section
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Fluid Dynamics (physics.flu-dyn); Plasma Physics (physics.plasm-ph)
Journal reference: Nature Astronomy(2019)
DOI: 10.1038/s41550-019-0713-3
Cite as: arXiv:1903.04624 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1903.04624v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Christophe Gissinger
[v1] Mon, 11 Mar 2019 21:53:11 UTC (1,227 KB)

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻