1846 - Neptune's moon Triton discovered by William Lassell

1846 - Neptune's moon Triton discovered by William Lassell

Mercury, Venus, Earth, The Moon (Luna), Mars, Jupiter, Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, Saturn, Enceladus, Titan, Iapetus, Hyperion, Uranus, Miranda, Neptune or Triton #Astronomy

Mercury, Venus, Earth, The Moon (Luna), Mars, Jupiter, Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, Saturn, Enceladus, Titan, Iapetus, Hyperion, Uranus, Miranda, Neptune or Triton #Astronomy

Triton, the largest moon of Neptune. Because Triton has a retrograde orbit (opposite that of it's planet), it was likely captured by Neptune's gravitational pull from the Kuiper Belt. It's about the same size and has a very similar makeup to Pluto, another Kuiper Belt object. Triton's orbit is slowly shrinking, and it is expected that in about 3.6 billion years, it will either collide with Neptune or be destroyed, forming a Saturn-like ring system.

Triton, the largest moon of Neptune. Because Triton has a retrograde orbit (opposite that of it's planet), it was likely captured by Neptune's gravitational pull from the Kuiper Belt. It's about the same size and has a very similar makeup to Pluto, another Kuiper Belt object. Triton's orbit is slowly shrinking, and it is expected that in about 3.6 billion years, it will either collide with Neptune or be destroyed, forming a Saturn-like ring system.

Dark streaks on Triton formed by deposits from ice or cryovolcanos. Credit: NASA

Dark streaks on Triton formed by deposits from ice or cryovolcanos. Credit: NASA

This view of the volcanic plains of Neptune's moon Triton was produced using topographic maps derived from images acquired by NASA's Voyager spacecraft during its August 1989 flyby, 20 years ago this week.

This view of the volcanic plains of Neptune's moon Triton was produced using topographic maps derived from images acquired by NASA's Voyager spacecraft during its August 1989 flyby, 20 years ago this week.

The gas giant planet Neptune in our solar system has 14 known moons, including the strange backwards-orbiting Triton. See what we know about Neptune's moons.

The gas giant planet Neptune in our solar system has 14 known moons, including the strange backwards-orbiting Triton. See what we know about Neptune's moons.

neptune and its moon triton

neptune and its moon triton

pappubahry:    Neptune’s moon Triton, photographed by Voyager 2, 20-24 August 1989.

pappubahry: Neptune’s moon Triton, photographed by Voyager 2, 20-24 August 1989.

NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft gave humanity its first glimpse of Neptune and its moon Triton in the summer of 1989. The images were taken on Aug. 20, 1989, at a range of 4.4 million miles from the planet, 4 days and 20 hours before closest approach on Aug. 25. NASA

25 Years Ago, Voyager 2 Captures Images of Neptune

NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft gave humanity its first glimpse of Neptune and its moon Triton in the summer of 1989. The images were taken on Aug. 20, 1989, at a range of 4.4 million miles from the planet, 4 days and 20 hours before closest approach on Aug. 25. NASA

What It Would Be Like to Live on Neptune's Moon Triton - Credit: By Karl Tate, Infographics Artist

What It Would Be Like to Live on Neptune's Moon Triton - Credit: By Karl Tate, Infographics Artist

This image of the south polar terrain of Triton, (Neptune's Moon) taken on Aug. 25, 1989 reveals about 50 dark plumes or 'wind streaks' on the icy nitrogen surface.

This image of the south polar terrain of Triton, (Neptune's Moon) taken on Aug. 25, 1989 reveals about 50 dark plumes or 'wind streaks' on the icy nitrogen surface.

Triton (moon of Neptune)  Triton is Neptune's largest moon. It's so far from the sun (and therefore, soooo cold) that all the nitrogen in its atmosphere has settled on the surface as frost

NASA Teases 'Ocean Worlds' on Moons of Jupiter, Saturn

Triton (moon of Neptune) Triton is Neptune's largest moon. It's so far from the sun (and therefore, soooo cold) that all the nitrogen in its atmosphere has settled on the surface as frost

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