Photoevaporation of the Jovian circumplanetary disk. I. Explaining the orbit of Callisto and the lack of outer regular satellites

N. Oberg*, I. Kamp, S. Cazaux, Ch. Rab

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Context. The Galilean satellites are thought to have formed from a circumplanetary disk (CPD) surrounding Jupiter. When it reached a critical mass, Jupiter opened an annular gap in the solar protoplanetary disk that might have exposed the CPD to radiation from the young Sun or from the stellar cluster in which the Solar System formed. Aims: We investigate the radiation field to which the Jovian CPD was exposed during the process of satellite formation. The resulting photoevaporation of the CPD is studied in this context to constrain possible formation scenarios for the Galilean satellites and explain architectural features of the Galilean system. Methods: We constructed a model for the stellar birth cluster to determine the intracluster far-ultraviolet (FUV) radiation field. We employed analytical annular gap profiles informed by hydrodynamical simulations to investigate a range of plausible geometries for the Jovian gap. We used the radiation thermochemical code PRODIMO to evaluate the incident radiation field in the Jovian gap and the photoevaporation of an embedded 2D axisymmetric CPD. Results: We derive the time-dependent intracluster FUV radiation field for the solar birth cluster over 10 Myr. We find that intracluster photoevaporation can cause significant truncation of the Jovian CPD. We determine steady-state truncation radii for possible CPDs, finding that the outer radius is proportional to the accretion rate Ṁ0.4. For CPD accretion rates Ṁ < 10-12M⊙ yr-1, photoevaporative truncation explains the lack of additional satellites outside the orbit of Callisto. For CPDs of mass MCPD < 10-6.2M⊙, photoevaporation can disperse the disk before Callisto is able to migrate into the Laplace resonance. This explains why Callisto is the only massive satellite that is excluded from the resonance.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA135
Number of pages16
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 1-Jun-2020


  • planets and satellites: formation
  • planets and satellites: individual: Jupiter
  • protoplanetary disks
  • planets and satellites: individual: Galilean Satellites
  • open clusters and associations: individual: Solar birth cluster

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