Europlanet Science Congress 2021
Virtual meeting
13 – 24 September 2021
Europlanet Science Congress 2021
Virtual meeting
13 September – 24 September 2021
EPSC Abstracts
Vol. 15, EPSC2021-828, 2021
European Planetary Science Congress 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Circulation of energetic ions within Ganymede’s magnetosphere: a Monte-Carlo simulation approach

Christina Plainaki1, Stefano Massetti2, Xianzhe Jia3, Alessandro Mura2, Anna Milillo2, Davide Grassi2, and Gianrico Filacchione2
Christina Plainaki et al.
  • 1Agenzia Spaziale Italiana, Rome, Italy
  • 2National Institute of Astrophysics, Rome, Italy
  • 3University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA

The study of Ganymede, the only known moon in the Solar System to possess an intrinsic magnetic field embedded within a planetary magnetosphere, is of significant importance in view of future missions to the Jovian system. Indeed, the dynamics of the entry and circulation inside Ganymede’s magnetosphere of the Jovian energetic ions, as well as the morphology of their precipitation on the moon’s surface determine the variability of the sputtered-water release and exosphere generation. The so-called planetary space weather conditions around Ganymede can also have a long-term impact on the weathering history of its icy surface.

In this talk, I will discuss some key characteristics of the circulation of the Jovian magnetospheric ions within the environment of Ganymede as derived from the application of a single-particle Monte Carlo model driven by the electromagnetic fields from a global MHD model. In particular, the Jovian energetic ion circulation and precipitation to Ganymede’ s surface was estimated for different relative configurations between the moon’s magnetic field and Jupiter’s plasma sheet, characterized by conditions similar to those encountered during the NASA Galileo G2, G8, and G28 flybys of Ganymede (i.e., when the moon was above, inside, and below the center of Jupiter’ s plasma sheet). The resulting differences between the various surface precipitation patterns and the implications in the water sputtering rate will be discussed. The results of this preliminary analysis are relevant to ESA’ s JUICE mission and in particular to the planning of future observation strategies for studying Ganymede’ s environment.

How to cite: Plainaki, C., Massetti, S., Jia, X., Mura, A., Milillo, A., Grassi, D., and Filacchione, G.: Circulation of energetic ions within Ganymede’s magnetosphere: a Monte-Carlo simulation approach, European Planetary Science Congress 2021, online, 13–24 Sep 2021, EPSC2021-828,, 2021.

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