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Heat generated by ocean tides on icy satellites in the outer Solar System

Dr. Robert H. Tyler, Dept. of Astronomy, University of Maryland; Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA
When Jun 20, 2013
from 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Where USNO, Building 56, Large Conference Room
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Time:  10:30 (coffee/cookies);  Talk 11:00-12:00.


Observations by the Galileo and Cassini spacecrafts have provided a strong indication that our massive water ocean is only one of at least several others in the Solar System.  It is clear that these oceans would have long ago frozen if not for an internal heat source.  It is also clear that in at least some of these cases (e.g. Enceladus), the heat sources previously presumed are insufficient.  Recently, it has been shown by the author that if these oceans occupy one of several plausible resonant configurations, then the tidal response and heat can easily maintain liquid oceans on most of the satellites.  It has also been shown that these resonant configurations are not just possible but may be inevitable because an ocean attempting to freeze will be pushed into the resonant configurations, with the increase in heat acting to stall further freezing.  This seminar shall provide a review of these and new results.

Brief Bio: 

Dr. Tyler obtained his Ph.D. from McGill University (Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, 1995). His research interests have primarily centered on the electrodynamics and fluid dynamics of oceans (terrestrial and extra-terrestrial). Specific topics have addressed  ocean flow generated magnetic fields and the potential for using satellite magnetometers to remotely monitor flow; propagation of electromagnetic waves through the ocean medium, with communication and detection applications of relevance to the U.S. Navy;   large-scale geophysical fluid dynamics; and tidal dynamics. He held positions in the Applied Physics Laboratory and Earth and Space Sciences Dept. until recently (2011) moving to the Dept. Astronomy at University of Maryland College Park, and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.


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