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Thread: Europa and free heat energy

  1. #1 Europa and free heat energy 
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    Good evening,

    This is my first post.

    As I type, I am watching a Stephen Hawking documentary, on which he makes a rather simplified claim that the Jupiter moon of Europa has a mechanism for generating heat. The details of this mechansim appear at first glance to be a hint at perpetual motion, or more accuratley, perpetual energy release.

    It goes like this:

    Europa is in an asymetrical egg shaped orbit of Jupiter. As it passeed closet to the giant planet and it strongest gravitational pull, it's shape distorts to become an elipse, and it then relaxes as it travels away from the planet. The regular swelling, stretching, and deformation of the moon is enough to generate heat from friction in the very rocks from which it is made.

    Heat energy for nothing is impossible, I know that. something has to slow down, run out, or be destroyed in the end. So what does? On the surface, it seems like the orbit can carry on indefinatley, and the heat from friction can continue to be generated.

    Help me be less stupid, please.


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  3. #2  
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    Heat energy for nothing is impossible, I know that. something has to slow down, run out, or be destroyed in the end. So what does?
    Jupiter's change in angular momentum is providing the energy--as you suspect nothing is free nor escapes the 2nd law of Thermodynamics.


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