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Physics Central - Jupiter's Moons - Callisto

Callisto has a dark heavily cratered surface with an albedo of only 0.2. It is the only one of its family to resemble what was expected before the role of tidal heating became appreciated. Callisto is not currently in orbital resonance with any of its neighbours, and shows no clear sign of having experienced tidal heating in the past.

Jupiter's Moons - Callisto

There could possibly be a rocky core occupying up to 25% of Callisto is radius but an iron core would seem to be ruled out by the Galileo gravity data.

Therefore it is surprising that Galileo found that a magnetic field is induced within Callisto by its passage through Jupiter’s magnetosphere.


Given the lack of an iron core, the only reasonable way to explain this magnetic field is to appeal to a salty (and therefore electrically conducting) ocean at least 10km thick and no more than 100km below the surface.


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