Triton: Do we see to the surface?

D. P. Cruikshank, R. H. Brown, L. P. Giver, A. T. Tokunaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

The quantity and physical state of methane and nitrogen in the atmosphere of Neptune's satellite Triton and on the surface are evaluated by means of new telescopic data and laboratory measurements of these volatiles. Methane ice is seen in some spectral regions, indicating that the atmosphere is sufficiently transparent to permit sunlight penetration to the surface. Some of the molecular nitrogen absorption occurs in the atmosphere, though some must occur in condensed nitrogen (liquid or solid) on Triton's surface, or in a thin cloud of condensed nitrogen. The Voyager spacecraft cameras should see the surface of Triton.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-286
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume245
Issue number4915
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989

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Cruikshank, D. P., Brown, R. H., Giver, L. P., & Tokunaga, A. T. (1989). Triton: Do we see to the surface? Science, 245(4915), 283-286. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.245.4915.283