Possible mechanisms for differentiation of the icy satellite1

Possible mechanisms for differentiation of the icy satellite1

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Possible mechanisms for differentiation of the icy satellites Because of this behaviour of ice it might be possible to get some differentiation of the icy satellites in regions where one might otherwise not expect the ice to be able to "flow". Of course, apart from pressure, there may be an alternative heat source in the form of radioactive elements inside the satellite. We can estimate how important this is likely to be, assuming solar-like composition of the original material. Then the initial rock and water ice planet/satellite will have nuclides providing about 1.6 10 -11 J s -1 kg -1 , declining by a factor of 9 over the history of the solar system. The heat capacity of a rock/ice mixture is about 17 10 3 J kg -1 K -1 . To heat this from 100K (typical Jovian system temperature) to 251 K (-22 C), the lowest eutectic melting point, requires C p del-T (heat capacity times temperature change or energy required) of about 2.4 10 5 J kg -1 , and so would take 5.8 10 8 years, allowing for the fall-off in the decay rate, but assuming no heat was
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This note was uploaded on 12/15/2011 for the course AST AST1002 taught by Professor Emilyhoward during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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