Jungwook Lee

Jungwook Lee

Grade: 9

School: Korea International School

City: Seoul

Topic: Triton


"Being the largest of Neptune’s 13 moons, Triton is very unusual and unique because it is the only large moon in our solar system that orbits in the opposite direction of its planet’s rotation. NASA should send a spacecraft to Triton prior to Miranda and Charon because of several reasons: Only a large moon that orbits in the opposite direction of its planet’s rotation, the only moon that has volcanic activities among Miranda and Charon, and large moon that is going to be broken in about 3.5 billion years later.

Triton is the only large moon that orbits in the opposite direction of its planet’s rotation.

Artist's view of Voyager 2 at Triton
“It is unusual because it is the only large moon in our solar system that orbits in the opposite direction of its planet’s rotation - a retrograde orbit,”(NASA). There are lots of large moons in our solar system, but Triton is the only one that orbits in the opposite direction of its planet’s rotation. By sending a spacecraft to Triton, Nasa could learn more about how planets and moons are formed than if they were to send spacecraft to Miranda or Charon because Miranda and Charon are both moons that orbit in the same direction of its planet’s rotation.

Triton is the only moon that has volcanic activities among Miranda and Charon. “Triton is one of the few moons in the Solar System known to be geologically active (the others being Jupiter’s Io and Europa, and Saturn’s Enceladus and Titan),”(Wikipedia). Triton is different from Moon because Triton is the moon that has volcanic activities. NASA can’t know more about Triton by sending astronauts or spacecraft to Moon. Instead, NASA should explore Triton itself.

Triton is the only moon among Charon and Miranda that is going to be broken in 3.5 billion years. “Triton will wander too close to Neptune in its orbit in about 3.5 billion years, and the gravitational pull of the planet will break Triton up,”(Space-facts). In 4 billion years, Earth would be broken down because of the increase in Earth’s surface temperature. People living on Earth always want to find any other methods to help Earth live longer, and sending the spacecraft to Triton would help NASA to make a plan further ahead to prevent Earth from getting destroyed in 4 billion years.

NASA should send spacecraft to Triton before they send them to either Charon and Miranda because Triton is the only moon among Miranda and Charon that orbits in an opposite way from its planet, have active volcanoes, and will be broken down in 3.5 billion years. Of course, learning more about moons that we aren’t now clear about would be very beneficial to us. But, if NASA was to only send one spacecraft, sending it to Triton would bring NASA the most benefit.

Solar System News