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What Generates the Magnetic Field of the Jupiter Moon Ganymede?


Christensen,  Ulrich R.
Department Planets and Comets, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;

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Christensen, U. R. (2016). What Generates the Magnetic Field of the Jupiter Moon Ganymede? doi:10.21036/LTPUB10267.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002B-BBC3-0
Over decades believes such as ’the magnetic fields of planets in our solar system are all the same’ or ’moons don’t have magnetic fields’ were widely held. At the example of Ganymede, Jupiter’s biggest moon, both premises were proven wrong. ULRICH R. CHRISTENSEN examines the theory of the so-called iron snow regime as the cause of magnetism: This theory assumes that iron crystallizing at the top of Ganymede’s core, sinking down as snowflakes, and remelting at greater depth generates a dynamo process within the core and creates the magnetic field. A simulation tailored to the scenario clearly displayed the characteristics of Ganymede. As explained in this video, the insights gained hereby confirm the theory of the iron snow regime driving the dynamo process of Jupiter’s biggest moon. Furthermore, the model matches the other known facts about Ganymede. More details about the moon are expected in the early 2030s when the JUICE Mission will provide further data.