Triton (moon)

TritonAndvari Tritonmoon of NeptuneTitanTritonian
Triton is the largest natural satellite of the planet Neptune, and the first Neptunian moon to be discovered.wikipedia
270 Related Articles

Moons of Neptune

moon of Neptune14satellite of Neptune
Triton is the largest natural satellite of the planet Neptune, and the first Neptunian moon to be discovered.
By far the largest of them is Triton, discovered by William Lassell on October 10, 1846, 17 days after the discovery of Neptune itself; over a century passed before the discovery of the second natural satellite, Nereid.

Neptune

NeptunianAtmosphere of NeptuneNeptune-mass
Triton is the largest natural satellite of the planet Neptune, and the first Neptunian moon to be discovered.
Its largest moon, Triton, was discovered shortly thereafter, though none of the planet's remaining known 13 moons were located telescopically until the 20th century.

Natural satellite

moonmoonssatellite
Triton is the largest natural satellite of the planet Neptune, and the first Neptunian moon to be discovered.
Triton is another exception; although large and in a close, circular orbit, its motion is retrograde and it is thought to be a captured dwarf planet.

Solid nitrogen

nitrogen icenitrogenCubic gauche nitrogen
It has a surface of mostly frozen nitrogen, a mostly water-ice crust, an icy mantle and a substantial core of rock and metal.
It is an important component of the surfaces of Pluto and outer moons of the Solar System such as Neptune's Triton.

Kuiper belt

Kuiper belt objectKuiper belt objectsKuiper cliff
Because of its retrograde orbit and composition similar to Pluto's, Triton is thought to have been a dwarf planet captured from the Kuiper belt.
Some of the Solar System's moons, such as Neptune's Triton and Saturn's Phoebe, may have originated in the region.

William Lassell

LassellLassell, William
The discovery was made on October 10, 1846, by English astronomer William Lassell. Triton was discovered by British astronomer William Lassell on October 10, 1846, just 17 days after the discovery of Neptune.
In 1846 Lassell discovered Triton, the largest moon of Neptune, just 17 days after the discovery of Neptune itself by German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle, using his self-built instrument.

Titan (moon)

TitanSaturn's moon Titanatmosphere
Triton is one of the few moons in the Solar System known to be geologically active (the others being Jupiter's Io and Europa, and Saturn's Enceladus and Titan).
It is second in terms of relative diameter of moons to a gas giant; Titan being 1/22.609 of Saturn's diameter, Triton is larger in diameter relative to Neptune at 1/18.092.

Discovery of Neptune

apparent discrepanciescontroversial rolediscovered that very night
Triton was discovered by British astronomer William Lassell on October 10, 1846, just 17 days after the discovery of Neptune.
The discovery of Neptune led to the discovery of its moon Triton by William Lassell just seventeen days later.

Retrograde and prograde motion

retrogradeprograderetrograde orbit
It is the only large moon in the Solar System with a retrograde orbit, an orbit in the direction opposite to its planet's rotation.
Retrograde satellites are generally small and distant from their planets, except Neptune's satellite Triton, which is large and close.

Irregular moon

irregular satelliteirregularirregular satellites
Most of the outer irregular moons of Jupiter and Saturn also have retrograde orbits, as do some of Uranus's outer moons.
The largest of each planet are Himalia of Jupiter, Phoebe of Saturn, Sycorax of Uranus, and Triton of Neptune.

Pluto

134340 Pluto(134340) Plutoescaped moon of Neptune
Because of its retrograde orbit and composition similar to Pluto's, Triton is thought to have been a dwarf planet captured from the Kuiper belt. Triton is the seventh-largest moon and sixteenth-largest object in the Solar System, and is modestly larger than the dwarf planets Pluto and Eris. Thought to be the point of origin for the majority of short-period comets observed from Earth, the belt is also home to several large, planet-like bodies including Pluto, which is now recognized as the largest in a population of Kuiper belt objects (the plutinos) locked in orbital step with Neptune.
On July 29, 2005, astronomers at Caltech announced the discovery of a new trans-Neptunian object, Eris, which was substantially more massive than Pluto and the most massive object discovered in the Solar System since Triton in 1846.

List of Solar System objects by size

largest25th-largest bodyequatorial radius
Triton is the seventh-largest moon and sixteenth-largest object in the Solar System, and is modestly larger than the dwarf planets Pluto and Eris.

Nereid (moon)

NereidNereids
Until the discovery of the second moon Nereid in 1949, Triton was commonly referred to as "the satellite of Neptune".
The unusual orbit suggests that it may be either a captured asteroid or Kuiper belt object, or that it was an inner moon in the past and was perturbed during the capture of Neptune's largest moon Triton.

Solar System

outer Solar Systeminner Solar Systemouter planets
It is the only large moon in the Solar System with a retrograde orbit, an orbit in the direction opposite to its planet's rotation.
The largest, Triton, is geologically active, with geysers of liquid nitrogen.

Mantle (geology)

mantleEarth's mantlemantles
It has a surface of mostly frozen nitrogen, a mostly water-ice crust, an icy mantle and a substantial core of rock and metal.
Titan and Triton each have a mantle made of ice or other solid volatile substances.

Dwarf planet

dwarf planetsList of dwarf planetsplanet
Because of its retrograde orbit and composition similar to Pluto's, Triton is thought to have been a dwarf planet captured from the Kuiper belt. Triton is the seventh-largest moon and sixteenth-largest object in the Solar System, and is modestly larger than the dwarf planets Pluto and Eris.
Triton is more massive than Eris or Pluto, has an equilibrium shape, and is thought to be a captured dwarf planet (likely a member of a binary system), but no longer directly orbits the sun.

Orbital eccentricity

eccentricityeccentriceccentricities
Triton's revolution around Neptune has become a nearly perfect circle with an eccentricity of almost zero.
Neptune's largest moon Triton has an eccentricity of 1.6e-5 (0.000016), the smallest eccentricity of any known moon in the Solar System; its orbit is as close to a perfect circle as can be currently measured.

Camille Flammarion

FlammarionNicolas Camille FlammarionCamille Flammarion‘s
The name was first proposed by Camille Flammarion in his 1880 book Astronomie Populaire, and was officially adopted many decades later.
He was the first to suggest the names Triton and Amalthea for moons of Neptune and Jupiter, respectively, although these names were not officially adopted until many decades later.

Uranus

Uranian34 TauriMagnetosphere of Uranus
Most of the outer irregular moons of Jupiter and Saturn also have retrograde orbits, as do some of Uranus's outer moons.
The Uranian satellite system is the least massive among those of the giant planets; the combined mass of the five major satellites would be less than half that of Triton (largest moon of Neptune) alone.

Geyser

geyserscold-water geysercryogeyser
The Voyager 2 probe observed in 1989 a handful of geyser-like eruptions of nitrogen gas and entrained dust from beneath the surface of Triton in plumes up to 8 km high.
Water vapor jets have been observed near the south pole of Saturn's moon Enceladus, while nitrogen eruptions have been observed on Neptune's moon Triton.

Formation and evolution of the Solar System

solar nebulaformation of the Solar Systemoutward
Moons in retrograde orbits cannot form in the same region of the solar nebula as the planets they orbit, so Triton must have been captured from elsewhere.
The largest irregular moon is Neptune's moon Triton, which is thought to be a captured Kuiper belt object.

Triton (mythology)

TritonTritonsGreek God
Triton is named after the Greek sea god Triton, the son of Poseidon (the Greek god corresponding to the Roman Neptune).
The largest moon of the planet Neptune has been given the name Triton, as Neptune is the Roman equivalent of Poseidon.

Carbon monoxide

COcarbon monoxide (CO)carbon monoxide poisoning
Trace ices include 0.1% methane and 0.05% carbon monoxide.
It has also been identified spectroscopy on the surface of Neptune's moon Triton.

Nitrogen

NN 2 dinitrogen
Triton has a tenuous nitrogen atmosphere, with trace amounts of carbon monoxide and small amounts of methane near its surface.
It forms a significant dynamic surface coverage on Pluto and outer moons of the Solar System such as Triton.

Orbital resonance

1:1 resonanceresonancemean-motion resonance
Thought to be the point of origin for the majority of short-period comets observed from Earth, the belt is also home to several large, planet-like bodies including Pluto, which is now recognized as the largest in a population of Kuiper belt objects (the plutinos) locked in orbital step with Neptune.