Atmosphere of Triton

Atmosphere of Triton - nitrogen increased by four to five...

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Atmosphere of Triton The atmosphere of Triton extends 800 kilometers above Triton's surface. [1] The atmosphere mainly is composed of nitrogen , similar to Titan's atmosphere and Earth's atmosphere . [2] The surface pressure is only 14 microbars , which is 1/70,000th of the surface pressure on Earth . [1] Originally, it was thought Triton had a thick atmosphere. [3] Voyager 2 observed the atmosphere up close in 1989. Recent observations of the atmosphere have shown an increase in temperature. Composition Nitrogen is the main gas in Triton's atmosphere. [8] The two other known components are methane and carbon monoxide , which abundances are a few hundredths of a percent of that of the nitrogen. Carbon monoxide, which was discovered only in 2010 by the ground based observations, is slightly more abundant than methane. The abundance of methane relative to
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Unformatted text preview: nitrogen increased by four to five times since 1986 due to the global warming observed on Triton, which passed its solstice in 2001. [7] Other possible components of the Triton's atmosphere include argon and neon . Since they were not detected in the ultraviolet spectra of Triton obtained by Voyager 2 in 1989, their abundances are unlikely to exceed a few percent. [9] In addition to the gases mentioned above, the upper atmosphere contains significant amounts of both molecular and atomic hydrogen , which is produced by the photolysis of methane. This hydrogen quickly escapes into the space serving as a source of plasma in the magnetosphere of Neptune. [9] Other Solar System planets and moons with similarly composed atmospheres include the Earth , Titan , Pluto and, possibly, Eris...
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This note was uploaded on 12/15/2011 for the course AST AST1002 taught by Professor Emilyhoward during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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