The discovery of active volcanism on Jupiter’s moon Io in 1979 has motivated significant research by the scientific community into Io’s heat output. Heat radiated from Io’s surface is on the order of 1014 Watts. In this paper, evolutionary models of Io involving tidal dissipation are reviewed and critiqued. Tidal effects between Jupiter and Io periodically distort the shape of Io (generating internal heat) and also affect its orbit. Io is also observed to be in an orbital resonance with Europa and Ganymede. Their orbital periods are in a ratio of 1:2:4. The models proposed by the planetary science community to date have various difficulties such as not allowing for a heat flow from Io that matches infrared observations, not accounting for the interior mantle parameters or the orbital parameters realistically, or not being viable over long time scales of billions of years. Io is not moving outward from Jupiter as would be expected from the tidal dissipation mechanism. Nor is there volcanism on Europa or Ganymede, though tidal dissipation also affects them. This paper shows why an age for Io of less than 10,000 years is more plausible than other treatments of the Io heat problem that have been proposed to date. It is suggested that there was more vigorous heating in Io in the past that has diminished today. This heat may have come from a special configuration of the interior of Io at creation or perhaps a more intense period of radioactive decay in the past. This study shows Io is an interesting object uniquely created by God.
Jupiter, Io, tides, tidal, orbit, age, heat, creation, Lunar, radiogenic
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Spencer, Wayne R.
"Tidal Dissipation and the Age of IO,"
Proceedings of the International Conference on Creationism: Vol. 5, Article 41.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.cedarville.edu/icc_proceedings/vol5/iss1/41