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Technical Physics

, Volume 44, Issue 9, pp 1009–1013 | Cite as

Danger of the explosion of Callisto and the priority of space missions

  • É. M. Drobyshevskii
Theoretical and Mathematical Physics

Abstract

Ice is a protonic conductor, as has been demonstrated many times by electrolysis experiments. The dirty ices which comprise the thick (∼103 km) crusts of several distant moonlike bodies are subjected to bulk electrolysis by currents excited by the motion of such bodies in cosmic magnetic fields (for example, Voyager-1 measured a current amounting to ∼107 A flowing through the Jovian satellite Io and its surroundings). The accumulation of electrolysis products in ice in amount equal to 10–15 wt. % renders such a solid solution capable of detonation. Global explosions of the crusts of moonlike bodies account for the origin and the known properties of many asteroids, short-period comets, planetary rings and small satellites, the formation of Titan’s atmosphere, the differences between Jupiter’s Galilean satellites, etc. Many predictions made on this basis have already been confirmed, and others are awaiting testing. According to all the signs, only the ices of the fourth Galilean satellite Callisto have not yet exploded. If they explode, the Earth will be subjected to concentrated bombardment by cometary nuclei, which will create a “nuclear winter” once every 60 years on the average. Therefore, a very high priority should be assigned to in situ investigations of Callisto for the purpose of determining the degree of saturation of its ices with electrolysis products.

Keywords

Magnetic Field Solid Solution Titan Protonic Conductor Space Mission 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© American Institute of Physics 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • É. M. Drobyshevskii
    • 1
  1. 1.A. F. Ioffe Physicotechnical InstituteRussian Academy of SciencesSt. PetersburgRussia

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