Inclination damping on Callisto

Brynna G. Downey, Francis Nimmo, Isamu Matsuyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Callisto is thought to possess a subsurface ocean, which will dissipate energy due to obliquity tides. This dissipation should have damped any primordial inclination within 1 Gyr - and yet Callisto retains a present-day inclination. We argue that Callisto's inclination and eccentricity were both excited in the relatively recent past (∼0.3 Gyr). This excitation occurred as Callisto migrated outwards according to the 'resonance-locking' model and passed through a 2:1 mean-motion resonance with Ganymede. Ganymede's orbital elements were likewise excited by the same event. To explain the present-day orbital elements, we deduce a solid-body tidal k2/Q ≈ 0.05 for Callisto and a significantly lower value for Ganymede.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-51
Number of pages12
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020


  • Planets
  • Planets and satellites: dynamical evolution and stability
  • Planets and satellites: interiors
  • Satellites: oceans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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