Moons and Icy Worlds: April 2013

The Instrument Concepts for Europa Exploration (ICEE) Program supports the advanced development of spacecraft-based instruments for Europa exploration. The goal of the program is to mature and reduce the technical risk of instruments for a potential future Europa mission to the point where they may be proposed in response to a future flight announcement of opportunity (AO) without additional extensive technology development.

The northern and southern hemispheres of Enceladus are seen in these polar stereographic maps, mosaicked from the best-available Cassini clear-filter images.

By tracking a part of the surface of Saturn's moon Titan over several years, NASA's Cassini mission has found a remarkable longevity to the hydrocarbon lakes on the moon's surface. A team led by Christophe Sotin of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., fed these results into a model that suggests the supply of the hydrocarbon methane at Titan could be coming to an end soon (on geological timescales). The study of the lakes also led scientists to spot a few new ones in images from Cassini's visual and infrared mapping spectrometer data in June 2010.

A new paper led by a NASA researcher shows that hydrogen peroxide is abundant across much of the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa.