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Simulations of ion sputtering at Ganymede

Abstract : Ganymede's surface is subject to constant bombardment by Jovian magnetospheric and Ganymede's ionospheric ions. These populations sputter the surface and contribute to the replenishment of the moon's exosphere. Thus far, estimates for sputtering on the moon's surface have included only the contribution from Jovian ions. In this work, we have used our recent model of Ganymede's ionosphere (Carnielli et al., 2019) to evaluate the contribution of ionospheric ions for the first time. In addition, we have made new estimates for the contribution from Jovian ions, including both thermal and energetic components. For Jovian ions, we find a total sputtering rate of 2.2x1027s-1, typically an order of magnitude higher compared to previous estimates. For ionospheric ions, produced through photo- and electron-impact ionization, we find values in the range 2.7x1026-5.2x1027s when the moon is located above the Jovian plasma sheet. Hence, Ganymede's ionospheric ions provide a contribution of at least 10% to the sputtering rate, and under certain conditions they dominate the process. This finding indicates that the ionospheric population is an important source to consider in the context of exospheric models.
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Submitted on : Monday, January 4, 2021 - 11:20:45 AM
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Gianluca Carnielli, Marina Galand, François Leblanc, Ronan Modolo, Arnaud Beth, et al.. Simulations of ion sputtering at Ganymede. Icarus, Elsevier, 2020, 351 (November), pp.113918. ⟨10.1016/j.icarus.2020.113918⟩. ⟨insu-02887149⟩



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