A few questions about Triton

Status
Not open for further replies.
A

aerogi

Guest
I rarely post here, but now and then I have a question, I am totally not an expert but space does interest me, especially the planets and its moons <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br /><br />I've just read some interesting stuff about Triton. Apparently the theory is that it is a captured moon, but I also noticed that it has a perfect 'excentricity', in other words: it's orbit is a perfect circle. I have no clue about the laws and physics, but I find that very weird, that non captured moons are somewhat excentric, whereas a captured moon can be a perfect orbit? <br /><br />And another thing, some predict that within a 100 millions of years it will crash into Neptune. Now what will/could the effect be on the planet? Or will it break apart before and form a Saturn like ring perhaps? But in the case it will crash into Neptune, that would mean a whole lot of energy involved, could it be noticed from earth? (I doubt it) and could this event disturb Neptune's orbit? We've seen what effect the small debris had at Jupiter when Shoemacher crasched into the planet, small pieces of a faw square kilometres caused large 'scars' for a certain time, any predictions and simulations when Triton will crash onto Neptune?
 
3

3488

Guest
Hi every one. I am back (for the moment anyway). Been extremely busy & my health has not been too good at all. Been very unwell. <br /><br />Triton is expected to reach the disruption point in about 750 million years time. Almost certainly, Triton will be ripped apart, forming a ring system that makes Saturn's current set look like an amateur outfit. <br /><br />Saturn's rings could be made from an object only about 250 KM across. Triton is about 1,700 KM across. Go figure. Triton may send some peices into Neptune, but the rings are going to be truly spectacular & the amount of sunlight refleting from well, will bring Neptune well into the range of the naked eye, despite the collossal distance from the sun (about 5th magnitude).<br /><br />Andrew Brown. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080">"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io and crescent shaped. It seemed unbelievable that something that big had not been visible before".</font> <em><strong><font color="#000000">Linda Morabito </font></strong><font color="#800000">on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.</font></em></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://www.launchphotography.com/</font><br /><br /><font size="1" color="#000080">http://anthmartian.googlepages.com/thisislandearth</font></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://web.me.com/meridianijournal</font></p> </div>
 
M

mikeemmert

Guest
Hello, aerogi <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br /><br />I have done extensive modeling of the capture of Triton by Neptune. This requires angular momentum to be transferred to some other object, otherwise Triton would just sail on past Neptune. I think that lost moon is Eris.<br /><br />Anyway, the captures, modeled on GravitySimulator, never resulted in a circular or even nearly circular orbit for Triton. This came later, as the moon's postcapture orbit decayed.<br /><br />As Triton orbited in it's eccentric track, it was alternately stretched and relaxed. This generates heat through friction. Jupiter's volcanic moon Io is heated by this mechanism, as most likely is Saturn's Enceladus. Those moons have pretty much circular orbits and the heating causes some spectacular effects. That heating would be far more extreme in the case of a highly eccentric orbit such as the original orbit of Triton. Probably a large percentage of the moon's ices boiled into a very thick atmosphere. An atmosphere is much more strongly affected by tidal heating and so much more energy would be lost.<br /><br />Heat energy comes from orbital motion, so as the moon is heated, the orbit decays. The most heat is generated at closest approach. As a result, the moon will not recede as far from the planet on it's way out. However, the periapsis (distance of closest approach) will remain about the same, therefore the orbit becomes more circular. The potential energy available in this situation is about the equivalent of Triton's mass in high explosives.<br /><br />Then there are collisions with Neptune's original moons. Since Triton's orbit is retrograde, these would be headon collisions. When these occured, Neptune was traveling much faster that the velocity of a circular orbit at the same altitude, which is why it was receding away after closest approach. After the collision with a smaller moon, it would slow down but will still be traveling above circular orbital velocity, so the poin
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY