Triton was found on Oct. 10, 1846 by British astronomer William Lassell, only 17 days later Neptune itself was discovered.
It’s unusual since it’s the only large moon in our solar system that orbits in the opposite direction of its world’s spinning –a retrograde orbit.
Scientists believe Triton is a Kuiper Belt Object captured by Neptune’s gravity countless years back. It shares several similarities with Pluto, the finest known world of the Kuiper Belt.
Much like our own moon, Triton is locked in synchronous rotation with Neptune–just one side faces the world in any way times. But due to its unusual orbital tendency, both polar areas take turns facing the Sun.
Spacecraft images reveal the moon features a sparsely cratered surface with smooth volcanic plains, mounds and around pits shaped by freezing lava flows. Triton is composed of a crust of frozen nitrogen within an icy compilation thought to insure a heart of metal and rock. This really is a higher density compared to that measured for any additional satellite of an outer world. This means that Triton comprises more stone in its interior than the icy satellites of Saturn and Uranus.
Triton’s thin atmosphere consists mostly of nitrogen with small quantities of methane. This air probably originates from Triton’s volcanic action, which can be driven by seasonal heating by sunlight. Triton, Io, and Venus are the only bodies in the solar system besides Earth which are known to be volcanically active in the current moment.
Triton is one of the coolest items in our solar system. It’s so cold that nearly all of Triton’s nitrogen is abbreviated as frost, providing its surface an icy sheen which reflects 70% of the sunlight that strikes it.
Throughout its 1989 flyby, Voyager 2 also discovered Triton has active geysers, which makes it among those very few geologically active moons within our solar system.
The Way Triton Got its Name
Triton is called after the son of Poseidon (the Greek god-like the Roman Neptune). Until the discovery of this next moon Nereid in 1949, Triton was known as simply”the satellite of Neptune.”
Most Interesting Facts of Triton Moon
- Triton is a frozen wonderland, demonstrating a strange selection of terrain types. All these indicate some kind of action happening inside, and cryovolcanism spouting substance into the surface.
- The geysers of Triton spewing nitrogen gas from under the surface to long plumes that rise as high as kilometers. Consequently, Triton has a rather thin nitrogen atmosphere. There might be a north polar cap too.
- Triton might be broken into layers of ice about a rocky core. The crust is mainly water ice. There might be a subsurface sea of slushy or liquid water.
- Triton orbits Neptune in retrograde — which is, contrary to the management of Neptune’s rotation on its axis. This may suggest that Triton was captured by Neptune’s gravity to the inclined orbit. It keeps the identical face toward Neptune constantly.
- Triton will drift too near Neptune in its own orbit about 3.5 billion decades, and the gravitational pull of the planet will split Triton up. The outcome will be a ring method.
- Voyager 2 was the only spacecraft to go to and map Triton. It flew in 1989. There are not any other missions intended to Neptune or Triton for the near future.