Hydrogen peroxide at the poles of Ganymede

Samantha K. Trumbo, Michael E. Brown, Dominique Bockelée-Morvan, Imke de Pater, Thierry Fouchet, Stéphanie Cazaux, Leigh N. Fletcher, Katherine de Kleer, Emmanuel Lellouch, More Authors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)


Ganymede is the only satellite in the solar system known to have an intrinsic magnetic field. Interactions between this field and the Jovian magnetosphere are expected to funnel most of the associated impinging charged particles, which radiolytically alter surface chemistry across the Jupiter system, to Ganymede's polar regions. Using observations obtained with JWST as part of the Early Release Science program exploring the Jupiter system, we report the discovery of hydrogen peroxide, a radiolysis product of water ice, specifically constrained to the high latitudes. This detection directly implies radiolytic modification of the polar caps by precipitation of Jovian charged particles along partially open field lines within Ganymede's magnetosphere. Stark contrasts between the spatial distribution of this polar hydrogen peroxide, those of Ganymede's other radiolytic oxidants, and that of hydrogen peroxide on neighboring Europa have important implications for understanding water-ice radiolysis throughout the solar system.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberadg3724
Pages (from-to)eadg3724
Number of pages9
JournalScience Advances
Issue number29
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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