Energy sources for triton's geyser-like plumes

Robert H. Brown, R. L. Kirk, T. V. Johnson, L. A. Soderblom, R. H. Brown, T. V. Johnson, R. L. Kirk, L. A. Soderblom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Four geyser-like plumes were discovered near Triton's south pole in areas now in permanent sunlight. Because Triton's southern hemisphere is nearing a maximum summer solstice, insolation as a driver or a trigger for Triton's geyser-like plumes is an attractive hypothesis. Trapping of solar radiation in a translucent, low-conductivity surface layer (in a solid-state greenhouse), which is subsequently released in the form of latent heat of sublimation, could provide the required energy. Both the classical solid-state greenhouse consisting of exponentially absorbed insolation in a gray, translucent layer of solid nitrogen, and the "super" greenhouse consisting of a relatively transparent solid-nitrogen layer over an opaque, absorbing layer are plausible candidates. Geothermal heat may also play a part if assisted by the added energy input of seasonal cycles of insolation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-435
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume250
Issue number4977
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

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geyser
insolation
plume
nitrogen
sublimation
Southern Hemisphere
trapping
energy
solar radiation
surface layer
conductivity
summer
energy source
solid state

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Brown, R. H., Kirk, R. L., Johnson, T. V., Soderblom, L. A., Brown, R. H., Johnson, T. V., ... Soderblom, L. A. (1990). Energy sources for triton's geyser-like plumes. Science, 250(4977), 431-435.

Energy sources for triton's geyser-like plumes. / Brown, Robert H.; Kirk, R. L.; Johnson, T. V.; Soderblom, L. A.; Brown, R. H.; Johnson, T. V.; Kirk, R. L.; Soderblom, L. A.

In: Science, Vol. 250, No. 4977, 1990, p. 431-435.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Brown, RH, Kirk, RL, Johnson, TV, Soderblom, LA, Brown, RH, Johnson, TV, Kirk, RL & Soderblom, LA 1990, 'Energy sources for triton's geyser-like plumes', Science, vol. 250, no. 4977, pp. 431-435.
Brown RH, Kirk RL, Johnson TV, Soderblom LA, Brown RH, Johnson TV et al. Energy sources for triton's geyser-like plumes. Science. 1990;250(4977):431-435.
Brown, Robert H. ; Kirk, R. L. ; Johnson, T. V. ; Soderblom, L. A. ; Brown, R. H. ; Johnson, T. V. ; Kirk, R. L. ; Soderblom, L. A. / Energy sources for triton's geyser-like plumes. In: Science. 1990 ; Vol. 250, No. 4977. pp. 431-435.
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