Surface Deposition of the Enceladus Plume and the Angle of Emissions

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
January 30, 2018
Filed under
Surface Deposition of the Enceladus Plume and the Angle of Emissions

Since the discovery of an ice-particle plume erupting from the south polar terrain on Saturn’s moon Enceladus (Porco et al., 2006; Spahn et al., 2006; Spencer et al., 2006), the geophysical mechanisms driving its activity have been the focus of substantial scientific research.

The pattern and deposition rate of plume material on Enceladus’ surface is of interest because it provides valuable information about the dynamics of the ice particle ejection as well as the surface erosion. Surface deposition maps derived from numerical plume simulations by Kempf et al. (2010) have been used by various researchers to interpret data obtained by various Cassini instruments. Here, an updated and detailed set of deposition maps is provided based on a deep-source plume model (Schmidt et al., 2008), for the eight ice-particle jets identified in Spitale and Porco (2007), the updated set of jets proposed in Porco et al. (2014), and a contrasting curtain-style plume proposed in Spitale et al. (2015). M

ethods for computing the surface deposition are detailed, and the structure of surface deposition patterns is shown to be consistent across changes in the production rate and size distribution of the plume. Images are also provided of the surface deposition structure originating in each of the four Tiger Stripes.

Finally, the differing approaches used in Porco et al. (2014) and Spitale et al. (2015) have given rise to a jets vs. curtains controversy regarding the emission structure of the Enceladus plume. Here we simulate each, leading to new insight that, over time, most emissions must be directed relatively orthogonal to the surface because jets “tilted” significantly away from orthogonal lead to surface deposition patterns inconsistent with surface images.

Ben Southworth, Sascha Kempf, Joe Spitale
(Submitted on 30 Jan 2018)

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:1801.10092 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1801.10092v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Ben Southworth
[v1] Tue, 30 Jan 2018 16:52:43 GMT (4116kb,D)

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻