Skip to comments.Neptune Might Have Captured Triton
Posted on 05/10/2006 12:31:09 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
Neptune's largest moon, Triton, was originally a member of a duo orbiting the Sun but was kidnapped during a close encounter with Neptune, a new model suggests.
Triton is unique among large moons in that it orbits Neptune in a direction opposite to the planet's rotation, which long ago led scientists to speculate that the moon originally orbited the Sun. But until now, no convincing theory for how Triton paired with Neptune existed.
Gravity might have pulled Triton away from its companion to make it an orbiting satellite of Neptune, researchers report in a new study published in the May 11 issue of journal Nature.
"We've found a likely solution to the long-standing problem of how Triton arrived in its peculiar orbit," said Craig Agnor, a researcher from the University of California, Santa Cruz. "In addition, this mechanism introduces a new pathway for the capture of satellites by planets that may be relevant to other objects in the solar system."
The new model predicts that Triton came from a binary setup much like Pluto and its moon, Charon.
"It's not so much that Charon orbits Pluto, but rather both move around their mutual center of mass, which lies between the two objects," Agnor said.
Binary systems can be pulled apart by gravitation when they encounter large planets like Neptune. The orbital motion of the binary system causes one member to move slower than the other, which can disrupt the system and permanently change the orbital companion.
This mechanism, known as an exchange reaction, could have delivered Triton to any of a variety of different orbits around Neptune, Agnor said.
Well, if so, what happened to it's "companion" that it originally was a part of?
Maybe it's part of Saturn's rings. < /profvndis scientificvs >
maybe Triton captured Neptune.
stranger things have happened, I'm sure... like where did all the Martians go? I think they moved to Hollywood myself. :-D
This story is so gay.
Good question. Maybe it's
Nibiru X or whatever
that thing is that is
lurking in dark space.. has a
3600 years cycle or some such.
Triton was not Mirandized.
Cogito ergo sum. Triton must be released immediately!!!
The ACLU? yikes.
Oh Great, another FREe Titon FREak advocate. ;-)
amusing, but uh, no. Related:
ZetaTalk | written Apr 14, 2004 | Nancy Lieder
Posted on 12/30/2005 8:47:27 PM EST by SunkenCiv
I think it still does.
related topics (okay, in some of these, you really have to look):
When the Days Were Shorter
Alaska Science Forum (Article #742) | November 11, 1985 | Larry Gedney
Posted on 10/04/2004 1:31:59 PM EDT by SunkenCiv
First Neptune Trojan Discovered
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Astronomers poised to apply novel way to look for comets beyond Neptune
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Neptune-Size Planet Orbiting Common Star Hints at Many More
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Red Planet's Ancient Equator Located
Scientific American (online) | April 20, 2005 | Sarah Graham
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New Theory: Catastrophe Created Mars' Moons
space.com | 29 Jul 03 | Leonard David
Posted on 07/29/2003 8:56:47 AM PDT by RightWhale
I call BS, it's had it for years and hasn't released a tape to AlJazzera with it's demands yet.
I Triton tell him.
Triton may have been the larger of the two/three/five:
Triton ("TRY ton") is the seventh and by far the largest of Neptune's satellites:
orbit: 354,760 km from Neptune
diameter: 2700 km
mass: 2.14e22 kg
Pluto is smaller than seven of the solar system's moons (the Moon, Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, Titan and Triton).
orbit: 5,913,520,000 km (39.5 AU) from the Sun (average)
diameter: 2274 km
mass: 1.27e22 kg
The unusual nature of the orbits of Pluto and of Triton and the similarity of bulk properties between Pluto and Triton suggest some historical connection between them. It was once thought that Pluto may have once been a satellite of Neptune's, but this now seems unlikely. A more popular idea is that Triton, like Pluto, once moved in an independent orbit around the Sun and was later captured by Neptune. Perhaps Triton, Pluto and Charon are the only remaining members of a large class of similar objects the rest of which were ejected into the Oort cloud.
The Original Solar System
Tom Van Flandern, Meta Research
[Reprinted from Meta Research Bulletin, Vol. 6 p. 17 -- 97/06/15]
Neptune, of course, has a highly disrupted satellite system. But the close resemblance between Pluto and Triton has been noted by many astronomers. They surely qualify as twins as well as any pair of solar system bodies. The fission theory tells us that Pluto (with smaller mass) must have been exterior to Triton in the original configuration, which is consistent with results obtained nearly two decades ago and reviewed in Chapter 17.
[also see "On the Origin of Pluto and Triton", Meta Research Bulletin, Vol. 10 (2001), p. 59
Hit-and-Run as Planets Formed
Written by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Hawai’i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology
November 27, 2006