Volume 639, July 2020
|Number of page(s)||20|
|Section||Celestial mechanics and astrometry|
|Published online||03 July 2020|
Long-term evolution of the Galilean satellites: the capture of Callisto into resonance
Department of Mathematics, University of Pisa, Largo Bruno Pontecorvo 5, Pisa 56127, Italy
2 IMCCE, Observatoire de Paris, PSL Research University, CNRS, Sorbonne Université, Université de Lille, Paris 75014, France
3 Department of Astronomy, Faculty of Mathematics, University of Belgrade, Studentski trg 16, Belgrade 11000, Serbia
Accepted: 11 May 2020
Context. The Galilean satellites have very complex orbital dynamics due to the mean-motion resonances and the tidal forces acting in the system. The strong dissipation in the couple Jupiter–Io is spread to all the moons involved in the so-called Laplace resonance (Io, Europa, and Ganymede), leading to a migration of their orbits.
Aims. We aim to characterize the future behavior of the Galilean satellites over the Solar System lifetime and to quantify the stability of the Laplace resonance. Tidal dissipation permits the satellites to exit from the current resonances or be captured into new ones, causing large variation in the moons’ orbital elements. In particular, we want to investigate the possible capture of Callisto into resonance.
Methods. We performed hundreds of propagations using an improved version of a recent semi-analytical model. As Ganymede moves outwards, it approaches the 2:1 resonance with Callisto, inducing a temporary chaotic motion in the system. For this reason, we draw a statistical picture of the outcome of the resonant encounter.
Results. The system can settle into two distinct outcomes: (A) a chain of three 2:1 two-body resonances (Io–Europa, Europa–Ganymede, and Ganymede–Callisto), or (B) a resonant chain involving the 2:1 two-body resonance Io–Europa plus at least one pure 4:2:1 three-body resonance, most frequently between Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. In case A (56% of the simulations), the Laplace resonance is always preserved and the eccentricities remain confined to small values below 0.01. In case B (44% of the simulations), the Laplace resonance is generally disrupted and the eccentricities of Ganymede and Callisto can increase up to about 0.1, making this configuration unstable and driving the system into new resonances. In all cases, Callisto starts to migrate outward, pushed by the resonant action of the other moons.
Conclusions. From our results, the capture of Callisto into resonance appears to be extremely likely (100% of our simulations). The exact timing of its entrance into resonance depends on the precise rate of energy dissipation in the system. Assuming the most recent estimate of the dissipation between Io and Jupiter, the resonant encounter happens at about 1.5 Gyr from now. Therefore, the stability of the Laplace resonance as we know it today is guaranteed at least up to about 1.5 Gyr.
Key words: celestial mechanics / planets and satellites: dynamical evolution and stability
© ESO 2020
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.