Jupiter Moon Ganymede Creates 1 Million Times Stronger Electromagnetic Waves Than Its Planet

Posted: Aug 10 2018, 3:27am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 10 2018, 3:31am CDT, in News | Latest Science News

Jupiter Moon Ganymede Creates 1 Million Times Stronger Electromagnetic Waves Than its Planet
Credit: NASA/JPL

A new study using data from the Galileo space probe reveals surprisingly powerful electromagnetic waves around Jupiter's moons

Astronomers have detected extraordinary high levels of electromagnetic activity around Jupiter’s largest moon Ganymede. The data taken from the Galileo spacecraft shows that electromagnetic waves released from Ganymede are 1 million times more intense than those of the planet itself. The power of waves near Jupiter moon Europa is 100 times more intense than the average around other planets in our solar system.

"It's a really surprising and puzzling observation showing that a moon with a magnetic field can create such a tremendous intensification in the power of waves.” Lead author Dr Yuri Shprits of GFZ and the University of Potsdam said.

Electromagnetic waves are powered by fluctuating magnetic fields and create sounds reminiscent of the chirping birds. Therefore, these waves are also known as chorus waves.

Chorus waves have been observed around other planets in the solar system, including Earth, Jupiter and Saturn. On Earth, they are bit calmer. Chorus waves traveling around Jupiter system are more powerful and energetic. That’s because Jupiter's magnetic field is the largest in the solar system and some 20,000 times stronger than the Earth's. Both Ganymede and Europa orbit inside the giant magnetic field of Jupiter.

"Chorus waves have been detected in space around the Earth, but they are nowhere near as strong as the waves at Jupiter," said co-author Professor Richard Horne from British Antarctic Survey. "Even if small portion of these waves escapes the immediate vicinity of Ganymede, they will be capable of accelerating particles to very high energies and ultimately producing very fast electrons inside Jupiter's magnetic field."

Chorus waves around Earth efficiently accelerate high-energy 'killer' electrons that can damage spacecraft. Observations of Jupiter's waves environment can help scientists better understand how chorus waves influence electrons at Jupiter and other similar processes occurs that occur across the universe.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




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