Status Report

Three-Dimensional Modeling of Callisto’s Surface Sputtered Exosphere Environment

By SpaceRef Editor
September 4, 2019
Filed under ,

Audrey Vorburger, Martin Pfleger, Jesper Lindkvist, Mats Holmström, Helmut Lammer, Herbert I. M. Lichtenegger, André Galli, Martin Rubin, Peter Wurz

(Submitted on 3 Sep 2019)

We study the release of various elements from Callisto’s surface into its exosphere by plasma sputtering. The cold Jovian plasma is simulated with a 3D plasma-planetary interaction hybrid model, which produces 2D surface precipitation maps for magnetospheric H+ , O+ , O++ , and S++ . For the hot Jovian plasma, we assume isotropic precipitation onto the complete spherical surface. Two scenarios are investigated: One where no ionospheric shielding takes place and accordingly full plasma penetration is implemented (‘no ionosphere’ scenario), and one where an ionosphere lets virtually none of the cold plasma but all of the hot plasma reach Callisto’s surface (‘ionosphere’ scenario). In the 3D exosphere model, neutral particles are sputtered from the surface and followed on their individual trajectories. The 3D density profiles show that whereas in the ‘no ionosphere’ scenario the ram direction is favored, the ‘ionosphere’ scenario produces almost uniform density profiles. In addition, the density profiles in the ‘ionosphere’ scenario are reduced by a factor of ~2.5 with respect to the ‘no ionosphere’ scenario. We find that the Neutral gas and Ion Mass spectrometer, which is part of the Particle Environment Package on board the JUICE mission, will be able to detect the different sputter populations from Callisto’s icy surface and the major sputter populations from Callisto’s non-icy surface. The chemical composition of Callisto’s exosphere can be directly linked to the chemical composition of its surface, and will offer us information not only on Callisto’s formation scenario but also on the building blocks of the Jupiter system.

Comments: Published in JGR: Space Physics

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Space Physics (

Journal reference: JGR: Space Physics, 124 (2019)

DOI: 10.1029/2019JA026610

Cite as: arXiv:1909.01014 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1909.01014v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history

From: Audrey Vorburger 

[v1] Tue, 3 Sep 2019 09:29:20 UTC (5,335 KB)

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