Undetectable Helium Ions on Jupiter?

Fig.1 JEDI ion summary for PJ1 showing Time of Flight through the instrument as a function of energy from Solid State Devices. The energy distribution tentatively marked Mg/Na by JEDI team, is “off the chart”.

As discussed in a recent post, the Juno JEDI data for PJ1 revealed a large number of particles with a unique high energy distribution, which is consistent with the origin of Jupiter’s energy proposed on this site, a continuous nuclear fusion reaction on the surface, producing 1030 high energy helium ion/isotopes per second. This post explains why the Juno JEDI instrument is not identifying these particles correctly.

The sequence of reactions thought to power the Sun are:

  • p + p -> d + e+ + v     (p is proton, e+ is a positron and v is a neutrino)
  • p + d -> 3He+ + γ       (d is deuteron, γ  gamma ray and 3He+ is an isotope of helium)
  • 3He  + 3He -> 4He + p + p

This process is thought to be initiated by the fusion of two protons, or hydrogen nuclei, which requires a very high pressure and temperature (velocity) to overcome the mutual Coulomb repulsion. However, Jupiter (and the Sun?) formed highly deuterated, therefore, the first reaction is not necessary, leading to the second step, usually written   p + d -> 3He+ + γ , which can take place at the lowest temperature of any nuclear fusion, e.g. the temperature on the surface of Jupiter. The containment is maintained by the high atmospheric pressure, perhaps in a depression, on the solid surface of Jupiter, at ~800 km below the cloud-tops. The low temperature on the Methane Gas Hydrate Jupiter eliminates the third step in the solar process because the  3He+ isotopes cannot fuse. As a result, a stream of high energy (9 MeV) 3He+ isotopes are produced, the circulation of which constitutes an electric current. This is one of the few aneutronic fusion reactions known. Instead of generating heat from dangerous neutrons, it produces a direct current, if the positive ions can be controlled. The literature shows the fusion of a proton and a deuteron producing 3He+, implying the helium ions produced are singly charged. Considerable theoretical work has been done on the  3He+, giving the wavelength of a ground-state transition as 3.46 cm. These singly charged light helium isotopes are stable, having been found in gases rising from the Earth.

What is ignored in the literature is that nuclear fusion reactions must produce nuclear particles, not atoms with electrons. Thus the reaction on Jupiter is producing 1030 doubly ionized helium isotopes, 3He++, all in the same high energy state. However, these are not stable and can capture an electron to form the stable  3He+. Although their high energy distribution is recognized, (marked in Figure 1 as Mg/Na), I maintain that the double charge is preventing the JEDI ion detector from measuring the Time of Flight (TOF) correctly, thereby misidentifying the ions. The acquisition of an electron, changing 3He++ to 3He+ would take place rapidly in a laboratory environment, so it has never been noted, but cannot happen to the continuous, concentrated stream of  1030  ions per second being generated on Jupiter. Moving at 20,000 km/s, these doubly charged 3He++ isotopes/ions which form the inner radiation belt and the auroral ovals, are lost or return to Jupiter in less than twenty seconds because the system is in equilibrium. As a result, they are the species which are encountered by Juno, and misidentified, because the TOF measured by the JEDI ion detector is incorrect.

This also explains the fact that uncountable numbers of stable, high energy 3He+ ions have been identified by earlier missions. Ulysses, Cassini, and the Galileo orbiter at great distances from Jupiter, identified ‘storms’ of stable high energy helium ions 3Hebecause they had been dispersed through the enormous clouds of electrons surrounding Jupiter. Although close to Jupiter, the Galileo atmospheric probe identified large numbers of high energy helium ions, 3He+ “of unknown origin” because some of the  3He++ ions captured electrons as they passed through the massive atmospheric heat shield, which had not yet been ejected and thereby became identifiable.

To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour.

– William Blake

~ by Angiras on November 3, 2017.

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