The satellite that can turn Neptune into a planet with rings

Neptune is the farthest solar giant planetsystem. In the atmosphere of this distant world, the most violent hurricanes rage that could only be recorded among the planets known to us and their satellites, because the wind speeds in the atmosphere of Neptune sometimes reach 600 meters per second. Around this dark blue planet, as many as 14 satellites rotate, but only 1 of them - Triton - has a spherical shape and a rather large size. However, it was this small satellite of Neptune that was able to surprise astronomers with its incredible qualities inherent in this strange, from a scientific point of view, celestial body.

Comparison of the sizes of the Earth and Neptune

What does Triton look like?

As mentioned above, the largest satelliteNeptune is considered to be Triton, which was discovered by the English astronomer William Lassel just 17 days after the discovery of Neptune itself. Despite the fact that the size of Triton is similar to the size of our moon, the mass of this distant satellite is more than 90% of the total mass of all other satellites of the dark blue giant. The remaining satellites of Neptune, among which Nereid and Proteus stand out, are asteroids captured from the Kuiper belt. When, in 1989, the first object created by human hands, the Voyager 2 device, visited the vicinity of the giant planet, humanity was first able to obtain data about this distant world, most of which are relevant today.

See also: What do we know about the satellites of Uranus?

Triton has a strange, retrograde orbit,which manifests itself in the fact that this celestial body makes a movement that is opposite to the direction of direct movement. Such “self-righteousness” threatens Triton with the fact that sooner or later this satellite of Neptune risks simply tearing itself apart, forming a ring, an analogue of which we can now observe on Saturn.

Until Triton exploded, moderntelescopes can observe its extremely interesting climatic and geological phenomena, which make this small ice world an absolutely unique celestial body. So, one of the most striking features of Triton is its ice volcanoes, which form a truly fantastic trail around the planet from water and ammonia. It is known that in the solar system only 4 planetary objects can boast of active volcanism, manifesting in one form or another - Triton, Io, Venus and, of course, Earth.

Neptune's largest satellite - Triton

In addition to cryovolcanism, Triton is famous for itsa strange terrain that is not found anywhere else in the solar system - “The melon crust terrain”. Such an unusual name appeared in the geological formation by chance, because the structure of the area really looks like the peel of this vegetable. It is believed that a unique terrain appeared on the satellite due to the immense flooding by liquid lava, consisting of water and ammonia, producing the so-called diapir effect.

Triton surface in the melon crust region

Despite extremely low temperatures,the surface of Triton, sometimes reaching -235 degrees Celsius, giant clouds were found in the atmosphere of the Neptune satellite, whose length can reach up to 100 kilometers. In addition, it may even snow on Triton, although unusual: it will consist entirely of frozen nitrogen.

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Due to its unique natural phenomena,Neptune’s largest moon has more than once become the object of realization of the fantasies of science fiction writers as a kind of intermediate base between the solar system and interstellar space. Well, who knows, maybe Triton will one day really become it? It remains only once again to add that time will tell.