The Kid Should See This

The Captured Ice Moon: Voyager 2 and Neptune’s moon Triton

As NASA looks toward the New Horizons probe‘s July 2015 rendezvous with dwarf planet Pluto and its five known moons, they are also reviewing Voyager 2 data collected on the 1989 flyby of Neptune’s moon Triton, seen here in this restored and enhanced historical footage from JPL:

Triton has a similar “radius, density, temperature and chemical composition” to Pluto, a few of the clues that have lead planetary scientists to believe that Triton is a captured KBO (Kuiper Belt Object). From The New York Times:

Triton, Neptune’s largest moon and one of the largest in the solar system, is the only one that goes around its planet backward, in the opposite direction of Neptune’s rotation – retrograde, in astronomical lingo. Which means it couldn’t have formed out of the swirling blob of gas and dust from which Neptune presumably condensed back at the dawn of the solar system.

Astronomers have concluded, therefore, that Triton is a stranger from outside Neptune’s system; the moon was kidnapped, they theorize, from the Kuiper Belt, a vast ring of icy debris left over from the formation of the solar system.

And by the way…

It was Pluto’s similarity to Kuiper Belt objects, including an egg-shaped orbit that sometimes took it inside Neptune’s orbit, that helped seal its demise as a planet.

Read more at NYT, and be sure to visit this wonderful MIT site to hear the public domain tracks on the Voyager Golden Records seen in this video.

Related watching on this site: More videos about the Voyager Mission and Brian Cox’s Favorite Wonder: Saturn’s moon Titan.

This feature is being tested. Saves will disappear if you clear cookies. Find saved videos here.

🌈 Related videos

How NASA’s Parker Solar Probe Will Touch the Sun

Rion Nakaya

Stephen Hawking explains black holes in 90 seconds

Rion Nakaya

Carl Sagan’s ‘Pale Blue Dot’

Rion Nakaya

Taking the very first picture of a black hole – Black Hole Hunters

Rion Nakaya

How to Find a Living Planet

Rion Nakaya

First Evidence for Water Ice Clouds Found Outside Solar System

Rion Nakaya

The beginning of the universe, for beginners – TED Ed

Rion Nakaya

Outer Space: sequences from NASA’s Cassini and Voyager missions

Rion Nakaya

Ocean Moon, Ocean World: The water beneath Europa’s icy surface

Rion Nakaya

 
Browse the TKSST Video Collections

Get 7 smart videos delivered every week.

 

Subscribe