Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Planetary Science Seminar
Enceladus: The Hottest Little Moon in the Solar System
Andy Ingersoll, Professor, Planetary Sciences, Caltech
The plumes of Enceladus are the keys to liquid water, habitability, and orbital evolution, but the data are incomplete and the interpretation is uncertain. I will first review the principal results from the past 11 years of Cassini observation - the mass rate and composition of the vapor, the mass rate and composition of the solid particles, the temperatures close to the vents, the total power, and the partitioning between radiated power and power escaping as latent heat of the vapor. I will then discuss papers that I have been involved with during the past year, with co-authors Shawn Ewald, Miki Nakajima, Peter Gao, Pushkar Kopparla, and Xi Zhang. Our results are relevant to the width and depth of the cracks, their periodic opening and closing, and why they don't seal themselves off with frost deposits near the upper surface. I will close with a list of projects and an appeal for help.