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This is a picture of Triton. Triton is Neptune's largest moon. The picture was taken by the Voyager 2 spacecraft.
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NASA

Neptune's Moons and Rings

Neptune has moons. It also has rings, but its rings are different from Saturn's.

Neptune's largest moon is named Triton. Triton is much larger than any of Neptune's other moons. Triton is a very cold place, so the moon is covered with ice. Triton has geysers like the ones at Yellowstone Park on Earth. The geysers on Triton shoot out ice instead of steam. The geysers shoot ice 8 km (5 miles) high into Triton's thin atmosphere!

The rest of Neptune's moons are much smaller than Triton. Gerard Kuiper discovered a moon named Nereid in 1949. Other moons named Despina, Galatea, Larissa, Naiad, Proteus and Thalassa were found by the Voyager 2 spacecraft in 1989. Five more small moons have been found. Three of those were discovered in 2002. Two more were found in 2003. The newest moons don't have official names yet.

Neptune's rings are much darker than Saturn's bright rings. Saturn's rings are made of ice, which reflects lots of light. Neptune's rings are probably made of rocks and dust. Rocks and dust don't reflect as much light.

Last modified April 22, 2009 by Randy Russell.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA