Data collected over 13 years by NASA’s Cassini space probe allowed researchers to create a new map of Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons. The infrared images show that there is a large amount of fresh ice in the northern hemisphere of Enceladus. These data were obtained using the Cassini Probe’s Visible Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS).
As early as 2005, researchers have already noticed huge plumes of ice and steam, which presumably come out of the ocean below the ice surface. The new spectral map shows that infrared signals are clearly correlated with geological activity, which is easy to see at the south pole.
These new ones indicate that the Northern Hemisphere is covered with fresh ice, but also that the same geological activity has occurred in both hemispheres – a change in the landscape surface.
“Infrared radiation shows us that the surface of the South Pole is young, and this is not surprising, because we knew about jets that explode the icy material,” says study co-author Gabriel Toby of the University of Nantes.
Thus, Enceladus is becoming more interesting, especially after the research team already discovered traces of organic compounds in plumes protruding from the surface in October 2019.