Brown Bag Colloquium

Friday, Feb 22, 2013
12:00 pm
Location: Kuiper Space Sciences
Room: 309

Dr. Matthew Hedman
Senior Research Associate
Cornell University

Host: Renu Malhotra

Examining Enceladus' Emissions in the Near-Infrared


The plumes of water vapor and ice grains spewing out from cracks near Enceladus' south pole are one of Cassini's most remarkable discoveries. The Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) onboard the Cassini Spacecraft has observed the near-infrared light scattered by Enceladus' plumes multiple times under a relatively wide range of viewing conditions. These spectral data reveal that particles of different sizes have different spatial distributions within the plume, which provides clues about how the particles are being accelerated beneath the moon's surface. Furthermore, the plume's total brightness varies as Enceladus moves around its eccentric orbit, indicating that tidal forces play a role in controlling the moon's geological activity.