*

Global color mosaic that Triton, take away in 1989 by Voyager 2 throughout its flyby that the Neptune system. Photo Credit: rebab.net/JPL/USGS


Discovery

Triton was found on Oct. 10, 1846 by british astronomer wilhelm Lassell, just 17 work after Neptune itself was discovered.

You are watching: Why do astronomers believe that triton is a captured moon?

Overview

Triton is the biggest of Neptune's 13 moons. The is unusual since it is the only big moon in our solar device that orbits in the opposite direction of its planet's rotation―a retrograde orbit.

Scientists think Triton is a Kuiper Belt Object caught by Neptune's gravity millions of years ago. It shares countless similarities with Pluto, the finest known world of the Kuiper Belt.

Like our own moon, Triton is locked in synchronous rotation v Neptune―one side deals with the world at all times. But due to the fact that of its unusual orbital inclination both polar regions take turns encountering the Sun.


A 3D design of Triton, a moon the Neptune. Credit: rebab.net Visualization technology Applications and breakthrough (VTAD)› Download Options

Triton has a diameter that 1,680 mile (2,700 kilometers). Spacecraft images show the moon has a sparsely cratered surface with smooth volcano plains, mounds and round pits formed by icy lava flows. Triton is composed of a crust of frozen nitrogen over an icy mantle thought to cover a main point of rock and also metal. Triton has actually a density around twice the of water. This is a higher density than that measure up for virtually any other satellite the an outer planet. Europa and Io have greater densities. This indicates that Triton contains much more rock in its internal than the icy satellites that Saturn and Uranus.

Triton's thin environment is composed greatly of nitrogen with little amounts the methane. This atmosphere most most likely originates from Triton's volcano activity, i beg your pardon is driven by seasonal heating by the Sun. Triton, Io and Venus space the only bodies in the solar mechanism besides earth that are well-known to it is in volcanically active at the existing time.

Triton is just one of the coolest objects in ours solar system. The is for this reason cold that many of Triton's nitrogen is condensed together frost, giving its surface an icy sheen that reflects 70 percent the the sunlight that hits it.

See more: What Formula Would Produce The Value In Cell C25, Indeed Excel Quiz

rebab.net's Voyager 2―the only spacecraft to fly past Neptune and Triton―found surface ar temperatures of -391degrees Fahrenheit (-235 levels Celsius). During its 1989 flyby, Voyager 2 likewise found Triton has active geysers, make it one of the couple of geologically energetic moons in ours solar system.

How Triton obtained its Name

Triton is named after the son of Poseidon (the Greek god equivalent to the roman inn Neptune). Till the exploration of the second moon Nereid in 1949, Triton was frequently known as just "the satellite the Neptune."