This is an image of Triton.
Image from: NASA
The diagram to the left shows a cutaway of the possible interior structure of Triton. The composition of Triton is mostly ice, therefore there is probably a small core of some rocky material buried inside, overlain with mantles of ice of various phases. One of the phases of ice is water however, and if water is present it could provide and environment suitable forlife.
If the interior is warm enough, there may be enough energy for interior convection, or the turning over of layers inside Triton. This type of interior motion leaves clues on the surface of a planet, such as folds and deep crevaces. Surface plate tectonics is a big clue about interior motions of the Earth.
The fact that this moon is made primarily of ice suggests a certain path for it's evolution.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes fun classroom activities
for you and your students. Issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
are also full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science!
You might also be interested in:
What types of instructional experiences help K-8 students learn science with understanding? What do science educators teachers, teacher leaders, science specialists, professional development staff, curriculum designers, school administrators need to know to create and support such experiences?...more
Composition is generally determined by detailed measurements of the spectra of an object. Spectral measurements of the surface of Triton reveal the presence not only of ice but of several different kinds...more
The phase of ice means the form of ice which takes shape. There are nine different kinds of shapes the ice crystal can assume. It all depends upon what temperature the ice feels, and what pressure the...more
Triton is a little bit like Jupiter's moon Europa, and a little bit like Saturn's moon Titan. There is a very thin atmosphere which is a bit like Titan's. It is very cold, about -300 degrees. Like the...more
This gorgeous image of Triton reveals many interesting features of its surface. The surface of Triton is halfway between that of Ganymede and that of Europa, of the Galilean satellites. There are portions...more
Triton was discovered by W. Lassell in 1846. Of the 8 moons, it is the 2nd farthest from Neptune, with a standoff distance of 354,800 km. Triton may be one of the largest of the icy moons, is comparable...more
The diagram to the left shows a cutaway of the possible interior structure of Triton. The composition of Triton is mostly ice, therefore there is probably a small core of some rocky material buried inside,...more
Triton is by far the largest moon of Neptune, and is one of the most unusual large moons in the Solar System. The poles of Triton are especially interesting. Triton has a frozen polar cap with ice geysers....more