Photometric and spectral analysis of the distribution of crystalline and amorphous ices on Enceladus as seen by Cassini

Sarah F. Newman, B. J. Buratti, R. H. Brown, R. Jaumann, J. Bauer, T. Momary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Photometric and spectral analysis of data from the Cassini Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) has yielded significant results regarding the properties and composition of the surface of Saturn's satellite Enceladus. We have obtained spectral cubes of this satellite, containing both spatial and spectral information, with a wavelength distribution in the infrared far more extensive than from any previous observations and at much higher spatial resolution. Using a composite mosaic of the satellite, we map the distribution of crystalline and amorphous ices on the surface of Enceladus according to a "crystallinity factor" and also the depth of the temperature- and structure-dependent 1.65 micron water-ice band. These maps show the surface of Enceladus to be mostly crystalline, with a higher degree of crystallinity at the "tiger-stripe" cracks and a larger amorphous signature between these stripes. These results suggest recent geological activity at the "tiger stripe" cracks and an intriguing atmospheric environment over the south pole where amorphous ice is produced either through intense radiative bombardment, flash-freezing of cryovolcanic liquid, or rapid condensation of water vapor particles on icy microspherules or on the surface of Enceladus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-406
Number of pages10
JournalIcarus
Volume193
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2008

Keywords

  • Enceladus
  • Geological processes
  • Ices
  • Saturn
  • satellites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Photometric and spectral analysis of the distribution of crystalline and amorphous ices on Enceladus as seen by Cassini'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this