The moons of Uranus and Neptune are some of the most fascinating and least known worlds in the Solar System. Here's what we know about them. Me on Facebook: Me on Twitter:
NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft gave humanity its first glimpse of Neptune and its moon Triton
in the summer of 1989. This picture of Neptune was produced from the last whole planet images
taken through the green and orange filters on the Voyager 2 narrow angle camera. The images were taken on Aug. 20, 1989,
at a range of 4.4 million miles from the planet, 4 days and 20 hours before closest approach on Aug. 25. The picture shows
the Great Dark Spot and its companion bright smudge; on the west limb the fast moving bright feature called "Scooter"
and the little dark spot are visible. These clouds were seen to persist for as long as Voyager's cameras could resolve them.
North of these, a bright cloud band similar to the south polar streak may be seen. In the summer of 2015, another NASA mission
to the farthest zone of the solar system, New Horizons, will make a historic first close-up study of Pluto. Although a fast flyby,
New Horizons' Pluto encounter on July 14, 2015, will not be a replay of Voyager but more of a sequel and a reboot, with a new and more
technologically advanced spacecraft and, more importantly, a new cast of characters.
Those characters are Pluto and its family of five known moons, all of which will be seen up close for the first time next summer(2015)
Image Credit: NASA
ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) has achieved first light with a new adaptive optics mode called laser tomography — and has captured remarkably sharp test images of the planet Neptune, star clusters and other objects. The pioneering MUSE instrument in Narrow-Field Mode, working with the GALACSI adaptive optics module, can now use this new technique to correct for turbulence at different altitudes in the atmosphere. It is now possible to capture images from the ground at visible wavelengths that are sharper than those from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The combination of exquisite image sharpness and the spectroscopic capabilities of MUSE will enable astronomers to study the properties of astronomical objects in much greater detail than was possible before. This ESOcast gives a taste of these remarkable results. The video is available in 4K UHD. The ESOcast Light is a series of short videos bringing you the wonders of the Universe in bite-sized pieces. The ESOcast Light episodes will not be replacing the standard, longer ESOcasts, but complement them with current astronomy news and images in ESO press releases. More information and download options: Subscribe to ESOcast in iTunes! Receive future episodes on YouTube by pressing the Subscribe button above or follow us on Vimeo: : Watch more ESOcast episodes Find out how to view and contribute subtitles for the ESOcast in multiple languages, or translate this video on YouTube: Credit: ESO Directed by: Nico Bartmann. Editing: Nico Bartmann. Web and technical support: Mathias André and Raquel Yumi Shida. Written by: Stephen Molyneux and Richard Hook. . Music: tonelabs Footage and photos: ESO, R. Bacon, P. Weilbacher (AIP), C. Malin (christophmalin.com), L. Calçada and MUSE consortium. Executive producer: Lars Lindberg Christensen. Caption author (Vietnamese) Sang Mai Thanh Caption author (Croatian) GemSirin Caption author (Portuguese (Brazil)) Juvenal Caon Category Science & Technology License Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)
A snapshot of Neptune’s magnetic field from the movie. Credit: Lars Mejnertsen, Imperial College London
Although new missions to Neptune have been proposed, none are likely to arrive for many decades.
So for now, the only way to better understand how the planet works is through computer simulations.
In a new example of interdisciplinary research at Imperial College London, the space and atmospheric
physics group and the plasma physics group have been working together to address this challenge.
: "Read more
Neptune and its moons. Credit: NASA
Hubble Space Telescope composite picture showing the location of a newly discovered moon,
designated S/2004 N 1. Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Showalter (SETI Institute).
The labeled ring arcs of Neptune as seen in newly processed data. The image spans 26 exposures combined into a equivalent 95 minute exposure, and the ring trace and an image of the occulted planet Neptune is added for reference. (Credit: M. Showalter/SETI Institute).
The interior structure of Neptune. Credit: Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology
Composition and interior structure of Neptune. Credit: NASA
Time line Neptune's incredible shrinking storm credit: NASA
Voyager 2 captured this image of Neptune in 1982, when it was over 7 million km (4.4 million miles) away from the planet. The Great Dark Spot in the middle of the image was the first storm ever seen on Neptune. Image: By NASA (JPL image) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
For the first time, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured time-lapse images of a large, dark storm on Neptune shrinking out of existence. A recent Hubble program called Outer Planets Atmosphere Legacy, or OPAL, provides yearly global maps of our gas giant planets, allowing planetary scientists to view changes in formations such as Neptune's dark storms. Read the full story on View the full image release - Find the science paper -(PDF) Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Katrina Jackson Music credit: "Struggling in the City" by Emre Ramazanoglu [PRS], Jamie Michael Bradley Reddington [PRS], and Patrick Green [PRS]; Atmosphere Music Ltd [PRS]; BLOCK; Killer Tracks Production Music This video is public domain and along with other supporting visualizations can be downloaded from the Scientific Visualization Studio at: If you liked this video, subscribe to the NASA Goddard YouTube channel: Or subscribe to NASA’s Goddard Shorts HD Podcast: Follow NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center · Facebook: · Twitter · Flickr · Instagram · Google+ Category Science & Technology License Standard YouTube License
Subscribe to Naked Science – Welcome to Triton, one of Neptune’s moons, super-chilled and covered in frozen nitrogen snow. It would be big enough for us to live on, the question is, could we? Triton is the largest natural satellite of the planet Neptune, and the first Neptunian moon to be discovered, by English astronomer William Lassell in 1846. It is the only large moon in the Solar System with a retrograde orbit, an orbit in the opposite direction to its planet's rotation. Clip taken from the Naked Science documentary “Deadliest Planets”.
Talk about recycling! Twenty-five years after Voyager 2 zinged past Neptune�s moon Triton,
scientists have put together a new map of the icy moon�s surface using the old data.
The information has special relevance right now because the New Horizons spacecraft is approaching Pluto fast,
getting to the dwarf planet in less than a year. And it�s quite possible that Pluto and Triton will look similar.
Paul Schenk of the Lunar and Planetary Institute used data from NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft,
which flew by Neptune and its big moon Triton on Aug. 25, 1989, to create this best-ever global color map of the moon.
"In the intervening quarter century and its many discoveries, I think we have tended to forget how strange and exotic Triton really is!"
Schenk wrote in a blog post Thursday (Aug. 21, 2014).
by Emily Lakdawalla
NASA / JPL / Ted Stryk Triton color global view Voyager 2 acquired the images for this high-resolution mosaic of Triton on August 25, 1989.
The south pole is at the left; several of Triton's famous south polar geysers are visible.
Toward the equator at right, Triton is covered with a strange "cantaloupe terrain".
Published on Aug 21, 2014 The Voyager 2 spacecraft flew by Triton, a moon of Neptune, on August 25, 1989. Paul Schenk,
a scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, used Voyager data to construct this video recreating that exciting encounter.
Global Color Mosaic of Triton, taken by the Voyager 2 spacecraft in 1989. Credit: NASA/JPL/USGS
Published on May 6, 2016 In the summer of 1989 Earthlings got their first view of Neptune and its formidable moon Triton. Fast forward 25 years and scientists are working on technologies to not only visit this icy moon but ‘hop' around on its surface too. NASA 360 joins Geoffrey A. Landis and Steven Oleson, both of NASA Glenn Research Center, as they discuss their concept for a hopper vehicle to explore Triton. This video was developed from a live recording at the 2015 NIAC Fall Symposium in October, 2015. To watch the full original talk please visit: http://bit.ly/1WUwMAD To learn about NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts please visit: www.nasa.gov/niac This video represents a research study within the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program.
NIAC is a visionary and far-reaching aerospace program, one that has the potential to create breakthrough technologies
for possible future space missions. However, such early stage technology development may never become actual NASA missions.
For more information about NIAC
Artist's impression of what the surface of Triton may look like. Credit: ESO
Neptune and its large moon Triton as seen by Voyager 2 on August 28th, 1989. Credit: NASA
Montage of Neptune’s largest moon, Triton and the planet Neptune showing the moon’s sublimating south polar cap (bottom) and enigmatic “cantaloupe terrain”. Credit: NASA
The moons of Uranus and Neptune as imaged during the 2011 opposition season. Credit: Rolf Wahl Olsen.
NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft captured dark streaks produced by geysers visible on the icy surface of Triton's south polar region. (Image: © NASA/JPL)
Neptune's largest moon Triton boasts an uncommon icy mixture of carbon monoxide and nitrogen, which could help astronomers better understand the conditions of other distant alien worlds. Using the Gemini Observatory in Chile and the high-resolution spectrograph called IGRINS (Immersion Grating Infrared Spectrometer), a visiting instrument for Gemini, astronomers detected a distinct infrared signature on Triton, revealing a mixture of carbon monoxide and nitrogen frozen as solid ice. This finding helps explain seasonal atmospheric changes on Triton and how material is transported across the moon's surface via geysers, according to a statement. Prior to detecting this unique signature on Triton, researchers first identified the specific wavelength of infrared light absorbed by an ice mixture of carbon monoxide and nitrogen molecules in the lab. "While the icy spectral fingerprint we uncovered was entirely reasonable, especially as this combination of ices can be created in the lab, pinpointing this specific wavelength of infrared light on another world is unprecedented," Stephen Tegler, lead author of the study from Northern Arizona University's Astrophysical Materials Laboratory, said in the statement. The icy mixture detected on Triton could help explain the moon's iconic geysers, which are the dark, windblown streaks first observed by NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft in the moon's south polar region. These distinct streaks are believed to be erupted material from an internal ocean, or an icy mixture that migrates around the surface in response to changing seasonal patterns of sunlight, according to the statement. "Despite Triton's distance from the sun and the cold temperatures, the weak sunlight is enough to drive strong seasonal changes on Triton's surface and atmosphere," Henry Roe, deputy director of Gemini and a member of the research team, said in the statement. "This work demonstrates the power of combining laboratory studies with telescope observations to understand complex planetary processes in alien environments so different from what we encounter every day here on Earth." In fact, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft found that carbon monoxide and nitrogen ices coexist on Pluto. However, the recent findings are the first evidence of these ices mixing, according to the statement. Therefore, the study, which will be published in The Astronomical Journal, sheds light on the possible composition of ices and seasonal variations in the atmosphere on other distant worlds beyond Neptune.