Global multispectral mosaics of Triton have been produced from Voyager approach images; six spectral units are defined and mapped. The margin of the south polar cap (SPC) is scalloped and ranges in latitude from + 10° to −30°. A bright fringe is closely associated with the cap's margin; from it, diffuse bright rays extend north‐northeast for hundreds of kilometers. Thus, the rays may consist of fringe materials that were redistributed by northward‐going Coriolis‐deflected winds. From 1977 to 1989, Triton's foil‐disk spectrum changed from markedly red and uv‐dark to nearly neutral white and uv‐bright. This spectral change can be explained by new deposition of nitrogen frost over both the northern hemisphere and parts of a formerly redder SPC. Frost deposition in the southern hemisphere during southern summer is possible over relatively high albedo areas of the cap (Stansbeny et al, 1990), which helps to explain the apparent stability of the unexpectedly large SPC and the presence of the bright fringe.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)