APOD: 2020 September 24 – Enceladus in Infrared


APOD: 2020 September 24 – Enceladus in Infrared<br />

Discover the cosmos!
Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is
featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2020 September 24


See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
the highest resolution version available.


Enceladus in Infrared
Image Credit:
VIMS Team,
SSI,
U. Arizona,
U. Nantes,
CNRS,
ESA,
NASA

Explanation:

One of our Solar System’s most tantalizing
worlds, icy Saturnian moon Enceladus appears in these
detailed hemisphere views from the Cassini spacecraft.

In false color,
the five
panels present
13 years of infrared image data from Cassini’s
Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer and Imaging Science Subsystem.

Fresh ice is colored red,
and the most dramatic features look like long gashes in the
500 kilometer diameter
moon’s south polar region.

They correspond to the location of tiger stripes,
surface fractures that likely connect to an ocean
beneath
the Enceladus ice shell.

The fractures are the source of the moon’s
icy plumes that continuously spew into space.

The plumes were discovered by by Cassini in 2005.

Now,
reddish hues in the northern half of the leading hemisphere view
also indicate a recent resurfacing of other regions of
the geologically active moon,
a world that may hold conditions suitable for life.

Experts Debate:
How will
humanity first discover extraterrestrial life
?
Tomorrow’s picture: pixels in space


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Authors & editors:
Robert Nemiroff
(MTU) &
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman
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A service of:
ASD at
NASA /
GSFC

& Michigan Tech. U.




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