Yusha Nurullah Ayan

Yusha Nurullah Ayan

Grade: 9

School : BAF Shaheen College, Tejgaon

City: Dhaka

Topic: Triton

“16th July 2039, everyone in NASA is very excited. It is going to be a historic day. No, it is not 80 years celebration of landing on moon. Trident is sending clear pictures of the white moon of Neptune Triton. According to NASA’s former analysis, alien life should have be seen in the sea under Triton’s surface.” It may just be an imaginary thought but it can be true because Triton is an extraordinary moon. It is one of the biggest and the most complicated out of 205 moons in our solar system. This natural satellite was discovered in 1986 by William Lessel. It has been named Triton after the son of Greek God Neptune. It is the 7th largest natural satellite of the solar system. Its characteristics are quite similar to Pluto.

It is considered that Triton came from the Kuiper belt like Pluto whose surface area is 23 million km2. Only 40% of Triton has been studied so far from the photos of Voyager. It is observed that Triton’s surface is covered with a transparent layer of annealed frozen nitrogen where 55% is nitrogen ice, 30–45% is water ice and 10-12% is frozen carbon dioxide with the remainder being rocky material. 0.1% methane and 0.05% carbon monoxide are also predicted.

Artist's view of Voyager 2 at Triton
Reddish color of Triton that known as Tholins is thought to be the result of methane ice. A number of black spot has been observed on Triton’s surface. It seems to be ejecting organic compounds or liquid water. From this it can be predicted that Elian life might exist in Triton.

The atmosphere of Triton is thought to have resulted from evaporation of nitrogen from its surface. The atmosphere of Triton contains carbon monoxide and small amounts of methane.

Its surface temperature is around −237.6 °C. The ejected black spot rising to an altitude of 8 km from surface that form a turbulence and creates an atmospheric change.

Like most moons Triton is locked into a synchronized rotation with Neptune. It rotates as fast as it rotates which means one side permanently faces the planet while the other side faces out into space. However unlike most moons it orbits in the opposite direction to its paired planet which is known as a “retrograde orbit”. If Triton was a part of Neptune, then it would move the same direction as Neptune.

As this moon is unknown to us, we need to deploy missions for exploring Triton. NASA is taking steps to launch a satellite named Trident in 2025 and will reach Triton 13 years later in 2038 to observe Triton from 300 km above. This exploring satellite will have sleek and expanded camera lens, infrared spectrometer, magnetometer, plasma spectrometer and radio science device. But I think if we can send the temperature suitable micro robot and animals like amoeba then we can find the existence of life and how to stay in extreme cold temperature can be known."

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