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Europa’s Sodium Atmosphere: An Ocean Source?

Leblanc, F. and Johnson, R. E. and Brown, M. E. (2002) Europa’s Sodium Atmosphere: An Ocean Source? Icarus, 159 (1). pp. 132-144. ISSN 0019-1035. doi:10.1006/icar.2002.6934.

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Sputtering and decomposition of Europa's surface by energetic ions and electrons produce an atmosphere. Here we use a 3D Monte Carlo simulation, including collisions with the background O_2 atmosphere, to describe recent measurements of the sodium component of the atmosphere. By constraining the model with the observational data, we attempt to reconstruct the source processes, the energy distribution, and the flux of the ejected sodium. We confirm that electronic sputtering from ice-rich regions dominates the ejecta and that Europa loses between 5 and 10×10^6 Na cm^(−2) s^(−1). This is about one order of magnitude more sodium than that implanted from the jovian magnetosphere.

Item Type:Article
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Brown, M. E.0000-0002-8255-0545
Additional Information:© 2002 Elsevier Science. Received January 29, 2001; revised May 24, 2002. The work at Virginia was supported by the NSF Astronomy Division and by NASA’s Planetary Atmospheres Program.
Group:UNSPECIFIED, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:Europa; surface; satellite; atmosphere; composition
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120926-111608431
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Official Citation:F. Leblanc, R.E. Johnson, M.E. Brown, Europa's Sodium Atmosphere: An Ocean Source?, Icarus, Volume 159, Issue 1, September 2002, Pages 132-144, ISSN 0019-1035, 10.1006/icar.2002.6934. (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:34453
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:26 Sep 2012 18:33
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:08

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