The first and largest satellite of Neptune
The solar system in which our planet Earth is located consists of a central star - the Sun, eight completely different planets and other elements of outer space, such as the satellites of the planets. Previously, the planets were considered nine, but by the decision of the International Astronomical Union, Pluto was transferred to the dwarf planets.
More on the eighth planet
The last planet from the Sun is Neptune. It is called the blue planet, since the surface of the object is covered with a deep ocean of water and liquefied gases (the main ones are helium, hydrogen, methane). The available methane, due to the absorption of the red part of the spectrum of the sun's rays and the reflection of blue, colors the planet in such a color. For this reason, the eighth planet got its name, because Neptune in ancient Rome was called the god of the sea.
- The distance from the Sun to Neptune is about 4.5 million kilometers. If it were possible to fly to him by plane at a speed of 3000 km / h, then it would take about 170 years to overcome this distance.
- The year (as we understand it), that is, the time during which the planet rotates around the Sun, here lasts 165 times longer than on our planet. But the day (rotation around its own axis) is 16 minutes without two minutes.
- Conditions. It is believed that very powerful winds are raging on the surface of the planet, the speed of which can reach two thousand kilometers per hour. As for the temperature, that is, data on the temperature of the upper edge of the clouds, its value - -210aboutC. It is clear that life as we know it is impossible in such an environment.
- There are six rings around the planet, like those that Saturn has, but not so pronounced. Also found 14 satellites, the brightest satellite of the planet Neptune - this is Triton. About its features and talk further.
The data that are known to mankind about Neptune, in many ways helped to collect "Voyager 2"
NASA launched two objects in 1977 - the Voyager-1 and Voyager-2 space probes. Initially, there was no goal to explore distant planets, they did not hope that the probes could even reach Uranus, let alone Neptune. But in January 1989, the first images were taken from a distance of 310 million kilometers, and by August 1989, Voyager approached the planet at 4900 km. With his help, not one satellite of Neptune was discovered, but six.A number of pictures of the planet and its satellite were also taken, various characteristics were calculated (such as weight, density of the atmosphere, its composition, pressure at the surface, temperature at the surface and in the upper layers).
Triton - the largest satellite of Neptune
This object was opened in 1846, the first among the 14 satellites of Neptune, this discovery was made by British astronomer William Lassel, who also discovered the discovery of the satellites Hyperion, Umbriel and Ariel. And this is in the nineteenth century, when there were no such technologies as now. The astronomer himself built telescopes so that he could contemplate the night sky.
Let's return to the Triton. Scientists have calculated that its possible weight is 2.14x1022. For comparison: the weight of the planet Earth is 597.36x1022. If you imagine the Earth as a small two-kilogram melon, the Triton next to it will be like a cherry with a weight of 7-8 grams.
It is assumed that Triton consists of a stone core (diameter - 2000 km), covered with a layer of frozen water mixed with rock by 75%. Atmosphere - nitrogen mixed with methane.
Triton is the only satellite of Neptune, which moves in the direction opposite to the direction of rotation of the planet.Theories were put forward that Neptune "snatched" Triton from a binary system.
The same Voyager 2 made a discovery that surprised scientists. At such a distance from the Sun, Triton found energy for ... geysers. Ten active nitrogen geysers were discovered, rising perpendicular to the surface at a height of eight kilometers, and then creeping parallel to the surface in the form of tails 150 km long. Scientists attributed this to seasonal heating by the Sun, because at the time of approaching Voyager, the side where these geysers are located has been in the lighting for a hundred years.
The distance from Neptune to his satellite is 354,760 km. For comparison: the satellite of our planet, the Moon, is located at 384,467 km, which is approximately the same on a cosmic scale. The satellite makes a complete orbit around Neptune in 5.9 Earth days. By the way, there is another interesting satellite of Neptune, called Nereida. Its orbit is very elongated; its distance to Neptune varies from 1.4 to 9.7 million km.
Interesting moments and facts
- was detected 17 days after the discovery of the planet Neptune itself;
- one of the five objects in the solar system, where volcanic activity is observed;
- the only satellite in the solar system that moves against the rotation of its planet;
- the temperature of the ice that covered Triton, the satellite of Neptune, is -240aboutFROM;
- the relief of the satellite has in places a unique structure similar to the melon's skin; besides, there is a place for huge cracks, and flat spaces, and mountain formations.