(ORDO NEWS) — Triton is the largest satellite of Neptune , with a diameter of about 2,707 kilometers.
Despite the fact that Triton revolves around the most distant planet from the Sun in the solar system (the average distance from the Sun to Neptune is 4.55 billion kilometers), our star still has a serious influence on it.
In 2010, using the European Southern Observatory Chile’s Very Large Telescope (ESO VLT), researchers confirmed the hypothesis that Triton experiences a change of seasons. The discovery was made at the very height of summer on the Neptunian moon.
In summer, the atmosphere of Triton, consisting mainly of nitrogen with an admixture of methane and carbon monoxide, thickens and turns into a rarefied haze due to the relatively large amount of sunlight. In winter, the gases condense and fall out as snow.
It is worth noting that each season on Triton lasts about 40 years! The next time you get tired of a hot summer or a cold winter, think about how fortunate it is that Earth‘s seasons change so quickly.
The image at the beginning of this article was stitched together from images taken by NASA‘s Voyager 2 spacecraft on August 25, 1989. Recall that Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft to fly past Neptune.
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