Jupiter’s moons are heating each other. According to a new study, the planet’s moons during gravitational tugs interact with each other. The process is called tidal heating. It was believed that the gas giant was responsible for the heat. But the latest study revealed the interactions between the moons are responsible for the rise in temperature. The new findings were published in Geophysical Research Letters. It noted that when the other objects trigger tides on moons and it matches other resonant frequencies, the natural satellites of the planet start heating up. This process eventually results in the melting of ice on the moons. The study said that these tides generally raise more heat than Jupiter triggered tides.
Scientists believed that Jupiter was behind the tidal heating, but researchers have now concluded that moon to moon interactions are also a factor. The authors of the study said that it is surprising because Jupiter’s moons are smaller than the planet. Jupiter is a gas giant. It is the fifth planet in the solar system from the Sun. It is also the largest planet among the eight known planets. Authors say that it is beyond expectation that moons can create a gigantic tidal reaction. It is a fact that some of Jupiter’s moons are warm and conducive to host oceans of water in the liquid form. It is the depth of oceans that define the natural frequency of moons.
Jupiter has nearly 80 moons, while some say that the planet may have up to 600 natural satellites. The four largest Jupiter’s known moons are — Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. The findings say that oceans on moons should be thick enough for tidal resonance. In the case of Jupiter, oceans must be thousands of kilometers thick. Jupiter’s influence alone can’t cause tides. It occurs when the gravitational influence of moons creates an impact on other moons. Scientists believe that studying the moons’ impact against each other can help understand the theory of evolution of the moon system.