We report on a multiwavelength observational campaign which followed the Earth's transit on the Sun as seen from Jupiter on 2014 January 2014. Simultaneous observations of Jupiter's moons Europa and Ganymede obtained with high accuracy radial velocity planetary searcher (HARPS) from La Silla, Chile and HARPS-N from La Palma, Canary Islands were performed to measure the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect due to the Earth's passage using the same technique successfully adopted for the 2012 Venus Transit. The expected modulation in radial velocities was of ≈20 cm s-1 but an anomalous drift as large as ≈38 ms-1, i.e. more than two orders of magnitude higher and opposite in sign, was detected instead. The consistent behaviour of the two spectrographs rules out instrumental origin of the radial velocity drift and Birmingham Solar Oscillations Network observations rule out the possible dependence on the Sun's magnetic activity. We suggest that this anomaly is produced by the opposition surge on Europa's icy surface, which amplifies the intensity of the solar radiation from a portion of the solar surface centred around the crossing Earth which can then be observed as a sort of inverse Rossiter-McLaughlin effect. in fact, a simplified model of this effect can explain in detail most features of the observed radial velocity anomalies, namely the extensions before and after the transit, the small differences between the two observatories and the presence of a secondary peak closer to Earth passage. This phenomenon, observed here for the first time, should be observed every time similar Earth alignments occur with rocky bodies without atmospheres. We predict that it should be observed again during the next conjunction of Earth and Jupiter in 2026.
Áreas temáticas de ASJC Scopus
- Astronomía y astrofísica
- Ciencias planetarias y espacial