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Space & Astronomy

Where did Triton come from ?

By T.K. Randall
June 6, 2011 · Comment icon 4 comments



Image Credit: ESA
Neptune's moon Tritan is unusual in that it is geologically active and has a retrograde orbit.
The last good look at Triton scientists had was back during the Voyager 2 mission in 1989, images sent back by the spacecraft revealed a smooth surface and nitrogen geysers. Now scientists are urging for a return mission to Neptune to take a closer look at its engimatic moon.
The current thinking is that Triton was not a rock but probably a Kuiper Belt object that was somehow pushed Neptune's way. But since we don't really know what Kuiper Belt objects look like, it's hard to tell.


Source: Technology Review | Comments (4)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Taut 11 years ago
Wonder how many other planet sized things are hiding in the belt? And will they be coming to visit?
Comment icon #2 Posted by Cosmic2012 11 years ago
Very good question @Taut. I believe personally that there may be a lot of moon or even dwarf-planet sized objects in the KB. However, don't call them anything but Kuiper Belt objects or Neil DeGrasse Tyson might get upset Actually I think he is wrong in being so conclusive of the statements he made regarding anything out that far as only being KB objects. I usually like him, but when he tries to write the rules himself it irritates me. It would be nice to know if Triton did come from the KB. It would clue us into the possibilities that other larger bodies might be cruising around out there.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Surreptitious 11 years ago
I think it's pretty likely that Neptune and other gas giants, sucked previous planets into their orbits. Including KB objects.
Comment icon #4 Posted by 27vet 11 years ago
Earth could have a new moon one day.


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