EGU23-4509, updated on 22 Feb 2023
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The energetic ion environment around Ganymede to be investigated with JUICE

Christina Plainaki1,2, Stefano Massetti2, Xianzhe Jia3, Alessandro Mura2, Elias Roussos4, Anna Milillo2, and Davide Grassi2
Christina Plainaki et al.
  • 1Italian Space Agency, Rome, Italy (
  • 2INAF-IAPS, Rome, Italy
  • 3Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering, University of Michigan, U.S.A
  • 4Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Germany

In this work the radiation environment around Ganymede is investigated. We apply a single-particle Monte Carlo model to obtain 3-D distribution maps of the H+, O++, and S+++ populations at the altitude of ~500 km and to deduce surface precipitation maps. We perform these simulations for three distinct configurations between Ganymede’s magnetic field and Jupiter’s plasma sheet (JPS), characterized by magnetic and electric field conditions similar to those during the NASA Galileo G2, G8, and G28 flybys (i.e., when the moon was above, inside, and below the centre of Jupiter’s plasma sheet). Our results provide a reference frame for future studies of planetary space weather phenomena in the near-Ganymede region and surface evolution mechanisms. For ions with energies up to some tens of iloelectronvolts, we find an increased and spatially extended flow in the anti-Jupiter low-latitude and equatorial regions above Ganymede’s leading hemisphere. Our results also show that the ion flux incident at 500 km altitude is not a good approximation of the surface’s precipitating flux. To study, therefore, Ganymede’s surface erosion processes it may be best to consider also low-altitude orbits as part of future space missions. This study is relevant to the ESA JUpiter ICy moons Explorer mission, which will allow a detailed investigation of the Ganymede environment and its implications on the moon’s surface evolution.

How to cite: Plainaki, C., Massetti, S., Jia, X., Mura, A., Roussos, E., Milillo, A., and Grassi, D.: The energetic ion environment around Ganymede to be investigated with JUICE, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-4509,, 2023.