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


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.


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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    E. M. Drobyshevski, Nature 250, 35 (1974).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    E. M. Drobyshevski, Astron. Astrophys. Trans. 10, 211 (1996).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    E. M. Drobyshevski, Moon Planets 18, 145 (1978).ADSGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    J. C. Decroli, H. Granicher, and C. Jaccard, Helv. Phys. Acta 30, 465 (1957).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    E. M. Drobyshevski, V. A. Chesnakov, and V. V. Sinitsyn, Adv. Space Res. 16, 73 (1995).ADSGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    E. M. Drobyshevski, Moon Planets 23, 339 (1980).ADSGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    E. M. Drobyshevski, Astron. Astrophys. Trans. 12, 327 (1997).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    E. M. Drobyshevski, Moon Planets 23, 483 (1980).ADSGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    E. M. Drobyshevski, Earth, Moon, Planets 44, 7 (1989).ADSGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    É. M. Drobyshevski\(\overset{\lower0.5em\hbox{$\smash{\scriptscriptstyle\smile}$}}{l} \), The “Callisto” Project, Express Information No. 2-89 [in Russian], Izd. Akad. Nauk SSSR (1989), p. 24.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    V. P. Konopleva, Cometary Exploration, edited by T. I. Gambosi, Budapest (1982), Vol. 1, pp. 13–19.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    E. M. Drobyshevski, “The history of Titan, of Saturn’s rings and magnetic field, and the nature of short-period comets,” Preprint PhTI-674, A. F. Ioffe Physicotechnical Institute, Leningrad (1980).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    E. M. Drobyshevski, Moon Planets 24, 13 (1981).ADSGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    E. M. Drobyshevski, in Evolution and Source Regions of Asteroids and Comets (IAU Colloquium 173), edited by E. M. Pittich, H. Rickman, and J. Svoreñ (1998).Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    E. M. Drobyshevski, Earth, Moon, Planets 43, 87 (1988).ADSGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    E. M. Drobyshevski, Astron. Astrophys. Trans. 13, 215 (1997).Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    M. F. A’Hearn, P. D. Feldman, and D. G. Schleicher, Astrophys. J. 274, L99 (1983).ADSGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    M. J. Mumma, W. E. Blass, H. A. Weaver, and H. P. Larson, Bull. Am. Astron. Soc. 20, 286 (1988).Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    H. Rickman, Adv. Space Res. 9(3), 59 (1989).ADSGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    I. I. Agafonova and E. M. Drobyshevski, Earth, Moon, Planets 33, 1,111 (1985).ADSGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    E. M. Drobyshevski, Earth, Moon, Planets 40, 1 (1988).ADSGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    D. Olsson-Steel, Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 227, 501 (1987).ADSGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    F. A. Tsitsin, V. M. Chepurova, and I. L. Genkin, Astron. Vestn. 27(6), 55 (1993).ADSGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    É. M. Drobyshevskii, Astron. Vestn. 29, 572 (1995).Google Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations