Moons - Moons Neptune (top) and Triton (bottom) Natural...

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Moons Neptune (top) and Triton (bottom) Natural color view of Neptune with Proteus (top), Larissa (lower right) and Despina (left), from the Hubble Space Telescope Neptune has 13 known moons . [7] The largest by far, comprising more than 99.5 percent of the mass in orbit around Neptune [111] and the only one massive enough to be spheroidal , is Triton , discovered by William Lassell just 17 days after the discovery of Neptune itself. Unlike all other large planetary moons in the Solar System, Triton has a retrograde orbit , indicating that it was captured rather than forming in place; it probably was once a dwarf planet in the Kuiper belt. [112] It is close enough to Neptune to be locked into a synchronous rotation , and it is slowly spiraling inward because of tidal acceleration and eventually will be torn apart, in about 3.6 billion years, when it reaches the Roche limit . [113] In 1989, Triton was the coldest object that had yet been measured in the solar system, [114] with estimated temperatures of −235 °C (38 K). [115]
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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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Moons - Moons Neptune (top) and Triton (bottom) Natural...

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