Living on Triton: Neptune's Moon Explained (Infographic) By Karl Tate, Infographics Artist
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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.

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Triton is the largest moon of the planet Neptune, Triton's bright south polar cap above a region of cantaloupe terrain

Triton is the largest moon of the planet Neptune, Triton's bright south polar cap above a region of cantaloupe terrain

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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 is Neptune’s moon, Triton, taken in 1989 by Voyager 2 - the only spacecraft ever to pass it. Triton has fascinating terrain, a thin atmosphere & even evidence for ice volcanoes on this world of...

This is Neptune’s moon, Triton, taken in 1989 by Voyager 2 - the only spacecraft ever to pass it. Triton has fascinating terrain, a thin atmosphere & even evidence for ice volcanoes on this world of...

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Triton (moon) - Water, the most abundant volatile in the Solar System, comprises Triton's mantle, which lies over a core of rock and metal. There is enough rock in Triton's interior for radioactive decay to power convection in the mantle. The heat sufficient to maintain a "subterranean ocean" with a layer of liquid water that suggests the possibility of life.

Triton (moon) - Water, the most abundant volatile in the Solar System, comprises Triton's mantle, which lies over a core of rock and metal. There is enough rock in Triton's interior for radioactive decay to power convection in the mantle. The heat sufficient to maintain a "subterranean ocean" with a layer of liquid water that suggests the possibility of life.

Neptune's moon Triton, as imaged by the New Horizons spacecraft

Neptune's moon Triton, as imaged by the New Horizons spacecraft

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