Rotation of Europa

Constraints from Terminator and Limb Positions

Gregory Hoppa, Richard J. Greenberg, Paul Geissler, B. Randall Tufts, J. Plassmann, Daniel D. Durda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Tidal torques on Europa due to Jupiter would tend to drive Europa's rotation to a rate slightly faster than synchronous, unless synchroneity is maintained by a permanent asymmetry in Europa's mass distribution. Moreover, global fracture patterns on Europa's surface, as well as the complex fine-scale tectonics revealed by Galileo high-resolution imagery, may be evidence of stress due to nonsynchronous rotation. A direct measurement of Europa's rotation rate is made from the positions of surface features relative to the terminator in a Galileo image and comparing the results with similar measurements of the positions of the same features relative to the terminator in a Voyager 2 image taken 17 years earlier. Any nonsynchronous rotation must be slower than a few tenths of a degree in 17 years (a complete rotation in >104years) relative to the direction of Jupiter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-347
Number of pages7
JournalIcarus
Volume137
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 1999

Fingerprint

Europa
limbs
limb
Jupiter (planet)
Jupiter
mass distribution
torque
imagery
tectonics
asymmetry
high resolution

Keywords

  • Europa
  • Rotation
  • Satellites of Jupiter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Hoppa, G., Greenberg, R. J., Geissler, P., Tufts, B. R., Plassmann, J., & Durda, D. D. (1999). Rotation of Europa: Constraints from Terminator and Limb Positions. Icarus, 137(2), 341-347. https://doi.org/10.1006/icar.1998.6065

Rotation of Europa : Constraints from Terminator and Limb Positions. / Hoppa, Gregory; Greenberg, Richard J.; Geissler, Paul; Tufts, B. Randall; Plassmann, J.; Durda, Daniel D.

In: Icarus, Vol. 137, No. 2, 01.02.1999, p. 341-347.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hoppa, G, Greenberg, RJ, Geissler, P, Tufts, BR, Plassmann, J & Durda, DD 1999, 'Rotation of Europa: Constraints from Terminator and Limb Positions', Icarus, vol. 137, no. 2, pp. 341-347. https://doi.org/10.1006/icar.1998.6065
Hoppa G, Greenberg RJ, Geissler P, Tufts BR, Plassmann J, Durda DD. Rotation of Europa: Constraints from Terminator and Limb Positions. Icarus. 1999 Feb 1;137(2):341-347. https://doi.org/10.1006/icar.1998.6065
Hoppa, Gregory ; Greenberg, Richard J. ; Geissler, Paul ; Tufts, B. Randall ; Plassmann, J. ; Durda, Daniel D. / Rotation of Europa : Constraints from Terminator and Limb Positions. In: Icarus. 1999 ; Vol. 137, No. 2. pp. 341-347.
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