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Formation of the Galilean Moons

14 Apr 2021, 14:00 UTC
Formation of the Galilean Moons
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Title: Building the Galilean moons system via pebble accretion and migration: A primordial resonant chainAuthors: Gustavo Madeira, André Izidoro, Silvia M. Giuliatti WinterFirst Author’s Institution: Grupo de Dinâmica Orbital & Planetologia, The University of São Paulo State, Guaratinguetá, BrazilStatus: Accepted to MNRAS (open access on arXiv)
In 1610, the Italian polymath Galileo Galilei published Sidereus Nuncius (Sidereal Messenger), within which he observed what appeared to be four stars waving back and forth around Jupiter. The implications of this profound observation – in direct contravention to the theologically correct view at the time – ushered in a new era of astronomy. These four stars are, of course, four moons of Jupiter: Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto, and are collectively named in Galileo’s honour. All these moons, with the exception of Callisto, form a chain of orbital resonances. Io, for instance, completes two orbits for every single orbit of Europa (a ratio of 2:1), and four orbits for every single orbit of Ganymede (4:1). Orbital resonances with simple integer ratios are also called mean-motion resonances (MMR). Collectively, the Galilean moons provide ample challenges for studies on the formation of planetary satellites. The authors of today’s paper use N-body simulations to study formation ...

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