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NASA

Global Warming Not Simply Constrained to the Earth
News story originally written on June 26, 1998

It seems that global warming is not simply constrained to the Earth. Observations taken by the Hubble telescope show that Neptune's largest moon, Triton, has heated up since the Voyager spacecraft flew by in 1989.

Triton's overall average temperature has increased by 5%, a very large increase for such a short period of time. This increase in temperature is of course having global effects. One of the main things that this warming does is turn the frozen nitrogen surface of Triton into gas, making its atmosphere thicker. A thicker atmosphere and warmer temperatures may be more conducive to life on Triton. But, one must realize that even with this global warming, Triton is still very cold! Triton's temperature has risen from about -392 degrees Fahrenheit to -389 degrees Fahrenheit.

"With Triton, we can more easily study environmental changes because of its simple, thin atmosphere," Dr. Elliot of MIT explained. By studying these changes on Triton, scientists hope to gain new insight into the Earth's more complex environment.

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