• Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

Hydrogen peroxide is found on Jupiter’s moon Ganymede at high latitudes

Hydrogen peroxide is found on Jupiter’s moon Ganymede at high latitudes

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3.5 μm H maps of Ganymede2O2 Comparing water ice absorption of 3.1 μm Fresnel peaks with corresponding predictions by the US Geological Survey VoyagerGalileo Imaging mosaic. H2O2 At higher latitudes, particularly in the frontal hemisphere, sharp boundaries are shown at about ±30° to 35° latitude. These boundaries roughly correspond to the onset of Ganymede’s polar ice caps and the latitudes where most particles in the Jovian magnetosphere can enter the surface. Fresnel reflection peak maps of water ice, which generally track the distribution of ice extracted from shorter wavelength water bands, and the largest H.2O2 The leading hemisphere will be enriched with water ice. The trailing hemisphere shows relatively weak Fresnel reflections and, overall, less snowy spectra. This hemispheric dichotomy in water ice may help explain the leading/trailing difference in H .2O2Overall polar h2O2 The distribution may reflect a combination of precursor water availability, temperature and/or radiation intensity. The approximate mean boundary between open and closed field lines is included as red dashed lines. The parallels 60°S, 30°S, 0°N, 30°N, and 60°N are also included in gray for both hemispheres. The leading-hemisphere map includes meridians 45°W, 90°W, and 135°W, while the trailing-hemisphere map shows 225°W, 270°W, and 315°W. Credit: Scientific progress (2023). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.adg3724

An international team of space scientists has found evidence that hydrogen peroxide on Jupiter’s largest moon Ganymede exists only at its high latitudes. For their research, reported in the journal Scientific progressThe team studied data from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

For several years, researchers theorized that Ganymede contained hydrogen peroxide, but finding it required a previous team studying data from JWST. In this new effort, the research team analyzed new data sent back by the telescope to learn more about the moon’s surface and its hydrogen peroxide.

Ganymede is the largest moon in the Solar System, but it hasn’t received nearly as much attention as Europa, another of Jupiter’s moons, whose features and characteristics make it even more likely to harbor life at some point. But previous research has shown that the influence of Jupiter’s magnetic field on many of its moons suggests a strong possibility of hydrogen peroxide on Ganymede. This is because the water-ice on its surface may affect the radiation process.

Previous research has shown that Ganymede and Europa are affected by radiation from Jupiter’s magnetosphere – which bombards the surface of both moons and turns water ice into other compounds such as oxygen, ozone and hydrogen peroxide. In this new effort, the researchers studied data from the JWST NIRSpec Integral Field Unit.

The team found a 3.5 micrometer absorption band indicating the presence of hydrogen peroxide in the northern parts of the Moon, mostly facing the directional orbit. They also observed oxygen being more abundant at lower latitudes and on the opposite side of the Moon. These findings show a stark contrast between Ganymede and Europa—where Europa has most of its hydrogen peroxide located near its equator.

The team notes that their findings are part of a larger process to better understand how Ganymede’s magnetic field influences its surface chemistry.

More information:
Samantha K. Trumbo et al., Hydrogen peroxide at the poles of Ganymede, Scientific progress (2023). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.adg3724

Journal Information:
Scientific progress

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